Be honest now, IF you discovered your doctor was on the payroll of a particular drug company, would you be concerned?
If your doctor continually pushed you to take a particular prescription medication, and you knew they had received financial backing, wages, consulting fees from the company who manufactured the drugs – would that bother you?
Do you find when you visit your doctors consulting rooms, note pads, pens, coffee mugs, blotting pads and other gizmo’s, clearly displaying advertising materials from a particular pharmaceutical company? But of course, there is absolutely no conflict of interest is there!
Does your doctor, who has perhaps received an honorarium from one of the BIG pharmaceutical companies, display this fact clearly in their consulting rooms? Something similar to the above (joke) image could be deemed most appropriate me thinks.
A report about just who is making what from whom, and how much money is involved, is currently circulating on the internet. The authors freely admit that the information they have so far gathered and published, is far from complete.
The $$$ amounts published so far could well be doubled? perhaps trippled. (my thoughts)
Consumer Reports tells us that over 70% of Americans polled disapprove of doctors taking payments from drug companies in exchange for promoting specific drugs to other doctors. And 77 percent would be concerned-–some “very concerned” (37 percent) and others “somewhat concerned” (40 percent)-–about the quality of treatment or advice from a doctor who accepts such payments. Most think doctors should tell patients about the payments they’ve received from a company whose drugs they are about to prescribe.
They asked these questions because thousands of U.S. doctors are on drug company payrolls for activities such as giving speeches to other doctors about drugs, according to an analysis of publicly disclosed payments from seven pharmaceutical companies done by ProPublica, a nonprofit, independent investigative reporting organization. ProPublica also found that 384 health-care providers (mostly doctors, along with a handful of pharmacists, nurse practitioners, and dietitians) accepted more than $100,000 in payments from drug companies in 2009 and 2010. Our poll found that even modest payments were enough to turn off many respondents.
About half of Americans said they would be concerned about the quality of care or advice from a doctor who accepted as little as $500 from a drug company, and two-thirds said they’d be concerned if a doctor took $5,000 or less. Most respondents (75 percent) were concerned about doctors who accept $25,000 or less.
Let’s put aside all these statistical percentages being bandied about folks, personally I don’t think honesty and integrity has any percentage other than 100%
Because a large amount of the information I am passing along to you here is taken from the Consumer Report site – we are just going to have to put up with the statistical gyrations of the author —Kevin McCarthy, associate editor.
He tells us:
The ProPublica database gives a glimpse of the practice by combining data from seven drug companies. Many other pharmaceutical companies don’t yet disclose the names of doctors on their payroll, but all will be required to do so by 2013 under a provision in the health-reform law. As more about these cozy relationships are revealed, consumers may become even more suspicious. In another recent Consumer Reports poll, we found that 69 percent of Americans think drug makers have too much influence on doctors’ decisions about which drug to prescribe. And the majority were also concerned about rewards drugmakers give to doctors for prescribing a lot of a drug, payments for testimonials or for serving as a company spokesperson for a given drug, payments for speaking at industry conferences, and paying for meals for doctors and their staffs.
It’s time for Americans and their doctors to have a frank talk about drugs. More than half of those in our latest poll (54 percent) said they’d feel comfortable asking their doctor if he or she has taken payments from drug companies. And younger adults, under age 50, were more likely (59 percent) to feel comfortable having such a discussion with their doctor than older adults (49 percent).
It’s a conversation worth having, and disclosure of these sometimes-secret relationships is a good reason for involved doctors to come clean. In the past, we’ve suggested that consumers should look their doctors up on pharmaceutical company websites that list the doctors they pay. Now the ProPublica database has brought many of those sources together in one consumer-friendly package. Take a look, and-–whatever you find-–feel free to ask your doctor if he or she accepts any payments from drug companies.
“Ask and you shall receive. Seek and you shall find. Knock and the door shall be opened unto you.” (Matthew7:7) These words of Christ express a natural law; mainly, the world responds to those who ask. Percy Ross (1917 ~ 2001) describes this profound fact in more playful terms, “The world is full of genies waiting to grant your wishes.” If we only knew what we’re not receiving because we’re not asking, we’d surely change our behaviour.
So Folks – read the ProPublica Database, and talk to your doctor about it. They are employed by you, technically you pay their wages, therefore you have a right to know.
Dollars for Docs – What Drug Companies are Paying Your Doctor
Till next time, be as well as you can………. and if you have a thought or two, please leave a comment.