Doctors receiving perks from Drug Companies

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davew
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Joined: Sun Apr 04, 2010 6:59 pm

Doctors receiving perks from Drug Companies

Postby davew » Wed Apr 28, 2010 8:11 pm

In an earier post I mentioned that I disagreed with the common practice of doctors receiving perks from Drug Companies in exchange for pushing their product. In this case I was referring to Mirapex.

From the responses I got, I felt like I was being treated as some sort of conspiracy theorist.

That's not the case at all. This is something that I learned years ago when I was taking an Addictions Counselling course. I assumed that everyone knew that this was going on.

For any of you that don't know that this is common practice, here are some interesting articles for you to check out (thankfully the government is starting to step in and put an end to this sort of activity).

From ABC News …

“Further investigation into the $6 billion spent by drug companies for what they say is a way to educate doctors showed that tactics like lavish gifts and trips are surprisingly common.

“It’s embarrassing, it’s extravagant and it’s unethical,” said Dr. Arnold Relman, a Harvard Medical School professor and the former editor of the New England Journal of Medicine. “It makes the doctor feel beholden … it suborns the judgment of the doctor.”

Few doctors were willing to talk publicly about their relationships with pharmaceutical companies, but one upstate New York doctor was willing to come forward.

“It’s very tempting and they just keep anteing it up. And it’s getting harder to say no,” said Dr. Rudy Mueller. “I feel in some ways it’s kind of like bribery.”

Disgusted by how the free gifts and trips add to the high price of medicine, and moved by the plight of patients forced to skip needed medication, Mueller agreed to provide Primetime with a rare glimpse of the astounding number of drug company freebies he was offered by various drug companies in a four-month period.

He was presented with an estimated $10,000 worth, including an all-expenses-paid trip to a resort in Florida, dinner cruises, hockey game tickets, a ski trip for the family, Omaha steaks, a day at a spa and free computer equipment. “


Brian Ross and David W. Scott, “Do Drug Company Perks Influence Doctors? How Pharmaceutical Companies Use Enticement to ‘Educate’ Physicians” ABC News abcnews.go.com/Primetime/story?id=132141&page=1

From the New York Times …

“In a scolding report, the nation’s most influential medical advisory group said doctors should stop taking much of the money, gifts and free drug samples they routinely accept from drug and device companies.

Drug companies spend billions of dollars wooing doctors — more than they spend on research or consumer advertising. Much of this money is spent on giving doctors free drug samples, free food, free medical refresher courses and payments for marketing lectures. The institute’s report recommends that nearly all of these efforts end.

The largest drug makers agreed last year to stop giving doctors pens, pads and other gifts of small value, but company executives have defended other marketing tactics as valuable to both doctors and patients. Medical device and biotechnology companies have yet to swear off free trips or even pens.”


Gardiner Harris, “Institute of Medicine Calls for Doctors to Stop Taking Gifts From Drug Makers” The New York Times (April 28, 2009) www.nytimes.com/2009/04/29/health/policy/29drug.html

From “The Day” …

“The bill, SB-270, requires drug and medical device companies to adopt a marketing code of compliance that, among other things, would limit gifts, meals and continuing-education benefits to physicians as well as force companies to publicize interactions with health care providers.

“This bill can really hinder or change the relationship between doctors and our field representatives,” said Pfizer spokeswoman Liz Power in a phone interview. These salespeople provide “critical information about prescription medicines” to busy doctors, she added.”


Lee Howard, “Pharma Opposes Bill to Limit Perks for Doctors” The Day, New London, CT. (April 22, 2010) www.theday.com/article/20100422/BIZ02/304229351/1044

They’ve actually done studies on how these perks affect doctor’s decisions.

From “The International Journal of Health Services” …

“Evidence suggests that physicians’ interactions with pharmaceutical companies do affect physician behavior. In 2000, Wazana’s analysis of 16 studies found convincing evidence that interaction with drug companies led to preference for prescribing a given company’s medication, inability to identify false claims about a medication, non rational prescribing behavior, increase in prescribing rates, and prescribing fewer generic equivalents, even when more expensive medications demonstrated no advantage. “

Sarah Roberts and James Jastifer, “Patients’ Awareness of and Attitudes Toward Gifts from Pharmaceutical Companies to Physicians.” International Journal of Health Services (2009) www.britannica.com/bps/additionalconten ... Physicians

I just thought some of you RLSers that are taking Requip, Sefrol, Mirapex etc. might like to be aware of just how common this practice is.


David
www.RLcure.com

ViewsAskew
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Postby ViewsAskew » Wed Apr 28, 2010 8:55 pm

David, I don't doubt for a minute that this is a problem. And, I don't doubt that for some doctors with RLS, they truly haven't a clue and are using it because of some of this. And, I don't doubt that innovative solutions are not studied because they won't make anyone money (and why would I pay to learn about something when I couldn't recoup my investment unless I was funded by the government or a private source)?

But, I don't believe for a minute that Dr Rye, Dr Buchfuhrer, Dr Allen, and the many other tireless RLS researchers and doctors are doing this. They use Requip or Mirapex when it makes sense and because so far all research indicates that dopamine is an issue. As is iron. Dr Allen works on iron research, believing it unlocks the key (and that won't make any pharma company rich).

People were reacting to your suggestion that Dr Buchfuhrer was "on the take" from Big Pharma, not that it doesn't happen in the world.
Ann - Take what you need, leave the rest

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Opinions presented by Discussion Board Moderators are personal in nature and do not, in any way, represent the opinion of the RLS Foundation, and are not medical advice.

Betty/WV
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Location: West Virginia, Wild and Wonderful

Postby Betty/WV » Wed Apr 28, 2010 9:48 pm

David: I to agree that this is going on. But for the first time in probably 40 years I have relief from my RLS. That is because of Mirapex. I was sleeping 2 or 3 hours a night. My brain was full of cobwebs. I was tired all the time. My life was one of misery. For a long time I didn't even know what was wrong with me. After a neurologist put me on Mirapex my life has been much better. Not perfect.....Mirapex may not be my answer for the rest of my life, but for now things are better. What ever comes next I will deal with it when that happens.

I understand where you are coming from. And it is a shame, but some things we can do nothing about.

BETTY/WV
Thanks to rls.org, I have learned so much about my condition. I have received encouragement from my friends here. This is a site I can come to when I am up most of the night, and I vent, and know those who read my messages understand

becat
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Postby becat » Sun May 02, 2010 6:59 am

The largest "takers" from the pharma companies....is the US government.

Pharma companies did not go back into time and find some sap from my family to slip the gene into action. It's just apart of my family genetics.

Betty I sure hope your treatment keeps on chugging along. It's been a while coming. Great deal to hear.

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Neco
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Postby Neco » Sun May 02, 2010 4:07 pm

ViewsAskew wrote:But, I don't believe for a minute that Dr Rye, Dr Buchfuhrer, Dr Allen, and the many other tireless RLS researchers and doctors are doing this. They use Requip or Mirapex when it makes sense and because so far all research indicates that dopamine is an issue. As is iron. Dr Allen works on iron research, believing it unlocks the key (and that won't make any pharma company rich).

People were reacting to your suggestion that Dr Buchfuhrer was "on the take" from Big Pharma, not that it doesn't happen in the world.


fricking THIS

Quoted for truth


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