Doctors Getting Free Meals Pick Branded Drugs More, Study Finds

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This isn’t surprising. A pharmaceutical salesperson comes in, takes a doctor to dinner to explain the benefits of his or her drug, soon that doctor starts prescribing said drug. This is how sales works. (Often.)

On the other hand one could have a Soviet style system with no pharma companies doing any sales and declared government procedures for antiquated drugs.

(From Bloomberg)

Brand-name drugs were prescribed more often even when doctors received just one meal, and prescription frequency grew with the number of meals and their costs, according to the study. Besides Bystolic, the authors looked at Crestor, a statin that treats high cholesterol; Benicar, an ACE inhibitor that treats high blood pressure; and Pristiq, which treats depression. Doctors who received four or more meals paid by the industry prescribed Crestor at 1.8 times the rate of those who received no free meals. The ratio was 4.5 times for Benicar and 3.4 times for Pristiq.

PhRMA, the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America that serves as the industry’s trade association, said prescribing patterns are based on individual patients’ needs.

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