Tyler Too

Drug Makers Buy Doctors

By Gus Tyler

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The story of how pharmaceutical firms buy doctors to prescribe given medication would be unbelievable if it appeared in some publication with less credibility than the Bulletin of the AARP.

Here’s the reported way in which a sales manager at Astra-Zeneca described the filthy operation: “There’s a big bucket of money sitting in every office. Every time you go in you reach your hand in the bucket and grab a handful.”

Little did the teller of this tale expect that his words would turn up on the Internet. But they did.

But even if they did not, the truth about the way in which pharmaceutical firms seek to buy doctors to prescribe their product would have been brought to public attention. A two-year Senate Finance Committee probe has concluded that by funding continuing medical education programs for doctors, pharmaceutical companies “have been able to increase their market for new products” and to illegally promote “off label uses” for their drugs. The committee has expressed concern that persuading doctors to use more costly drugs raises safety issues and most certainly places an additional cost on government funding.

The New England Journal of Medicine reports that 94% of doctors have a relationship with drug companies, 83% get free meals and 35% attend industry events.

They used to call such acts “bribery.” Now, we guess it goes under another name — like friendship.



Comments
Glad to Be Free Mon. Aug 6, 2007

Not only are the individual doctors bought-- entire medical organizations are bought and influenced. I previously worked for the National Medical Association (NMA) and over 90% of all of their funds came from the drug companies. If the drug companies needed some help with something political, they called NMA and the NMA made a statement on their behalf. The annual conference was always held in some exotic and expensive location-- this year in Hawaii. The doctors would come and be wined, dined and entertained by the companies. The NMA also gave the doctors a tax break because they are listed as a non profit organization. The organization gives awards each year to the companies that give the most money--Astra Zeneca and Pfizer are always at the top along with Glaxo Smith Klein, Amgen, Eli Lilly and the others. If you give more--you get more influence over these doctors. The companies give millions and the doctors become their puppets. This is a huge scam and I had to leave this. The NMA even has a "journal" which is another front for the pharmaceutical company--it pours in advertising dollars as another way to divert money and buy influence.

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