Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Do gifts from pharma influence doctors?

According to a survey conducted by Consumer Reports National Research Center, 47 percent of respondents think gifts from pharma companies influence doctors to prescribe certain drugs. This does get into the reality that costs of marketing of drugs exceed costs of research and development. Apart from gifts is the issue of doctors signing on as authors of articles on drugs that were ghost-written by someone else.

The report by Steve Mitchell does conclude with a reference to generic drugs:

Overall, 27 percent failed to take a drug as prescribed, for example, by not getting a prescription filled (16 percent), taking an expired medication (12 percent), or sharing a prescription with someone else to save money (4 percent).

A better choice is asking your doctor or pharmacist if there's a less expensive generic version of your drug available, and 37 percent of those surveyed reported doing that.

It's a bit surprising that ONLY 37% asked about generics.


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