February 18, 2006

Oped: How drug lobbyists influence doctors

Category: Pharma,Politics — @ 6:51 am

The Boston Globe published a scathing op-ed, How drug lobbyists influence doctors.

But I write not about politicians (plenty of people are doing that already), but about similar corruptive influences in medicine. While lobbying groups spend about $2 billion to convince politicians to do their bidding, pharmaceutical companies spend nearly 10 times that much to influence the nation’s 600,000 to 700,000 physicians to prescribe the newest and most expensive drugs. I imagine that many people who regularly watch television assume that the companies are spending most of their advertising budget to influence consumers, but no. Nearly 85-90 percent is spent on doctors, for free drug samples, speaker’s fees, consultation fees, and ”educational” grants.

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