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Pharmaceutical Companies May Rely on Gifts to Physicians for their Drug’s Profitability

Defective Drugs / July 1, 2016

A $10 meal could be the difference between the success or failure of a name brand drug, a new study finds.

Often doctors receive perks from pharmaceutical companies as an incentive to prescribe certain brand name medications over cheaper generic alternatives. A study published in June of 2016 discovered that as little as one meal from a drug company could sway a physician to prescribe a name brand drug instead of a generic. The study published in JAMA Internal Medicine is the third study published this year regarding the connection between pharmaceutical companies and what prescriptions a doctor writes.

The payments from drug companies are usually in the form of a free meal, paid travel expenses, or an education payment. A provision in the Affordable Care Act requires drug companies to now disclose all payments to doctors. Part of this disclosure includes information on what kind of drug or medical product the payment is for. Sites like Open Payments and Dollars for Docs allow people to see how much money their doctors are receiving from pharmaceutical companies – and for what reasons.

Benicar, a high blood pressure medicine that may cause dangerous weight loss, diarrhea, and vomiting, is prescribed more by doctors who received payment from pharmaceutical representatives.

The JAMA study reviewed the prescription records of four different types of drugs – one of which is the high blood pressure medication, Benicar. A small number of the doctors reviewed receive gifts from pharmaceutical companies but the doctors that do receive gifts prescribe the drugs more often than other doctors. Physicians who received meals prescribe Benicar 4.5 times more than physicians who do not receive meals from a drug company representative. The study resolved that it may not be the meal so much that sways the doctor but rather the time a doctor and drug representative spend together while the doctor is eating. The meal affords an opportunity for a drug representative to pitch their new medicine.

One of the study’s authors, Dr. R. Adams Dudley, suggested that patients always ask their physicians “Is there a generic that’s just as good?” Many times the answer is yes, which saves money and increases the likelihood of insurance coverage for that prescription.

Hernia Mesh Payments

Many surgeons that utilize hernia mesh to repair hernias in the United States are receiving large payments from the companies that make hernia mesh. Nearly every surgeon on the board of the Hernia Mesh Society in the United States receive large payments from Bard Davol, which controls the majority of the hernia mesh market. In fact, Bard Davol created and funds the Hernia Mesh Society. Follow this link for an example of a general surgeon in the United States who is really just a shill for hernia mesh companies.

The Hollis Law Firm handles defective drug and medical device cases. If you or a loved one has been injured by a drug with harmful side effects like Benicar, contact us at (800) 701-3672 today. All claim reviews are free of charge, you won’t owe any money unless there’s a recovery for your case. All information shared with the Hollis Law Firm is confidential and risk free.