Anonymous asked in HealthAlternative Medicine · 1 decade ago

Are You Aware That Drug Companies Pay Doctors To Prescribe And Promote Their Drugs?

"Document Details Plan To Promote Costly Drugs"

New York Times

Sept. 1, 2009

"... In February, federal prosecutors in Boston announced a civil lawsuit against Forest claiming that the company illegally marketed both Lexapro and a closely related antidepressant, Celexa, for use in children and paid kickbacks to doctors to induce them to prescribe the medicines to children.

It is illegal to pay doctors to prescribe certain medicines to their patients. It is not illegal to pay doctors to educate their colleagues about a medicine. In recent years, federal prosecutors have accused many drug makers of deliberately crossing that line. ..."


" ...It is impossible to unpack all of the reasons for these prescriptions, but some industry critics say one reason could be the money doctors make from Forest. Psychiatrists make more money from drug makers than any other medical specialty, according to analyses of payment data. And Forest gives more money and food to doctors than many of its far larger rivals. Vermont officials found that Forest’s payments to doctors in 2008 were surpassed only by those of Eli Lilly, Pfizer, Novartis and Merck — companies with annual sales that are five to 10 times larger than Forest’s.

Forest’s 2004 plan for marketing Lexapro offers detailed information about how the company planned to direct this money to doctors.

Under “Rep Promotional Programs,” the document said the company planned to spend $34.7 million to pay 2,000 psychiatrists and primary care doctors to deliver 15,000 marketing lectures to their peers in one year.

“These meetings may be large-scale dinner programs with a slide presentation, small roundtable discussions or one-on-one advocate lunches,” the document states.

Under “Lunch and Learns,” the company intended to spend $36 million providing lunch to doctors in their offices. “Providing lunch for a physician creates an extended amount of selling time for representatives,” the document states. ..."


16 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Do you know what MOST doctors get? Lunch. And although $36 million sounds like a lot there are something like 7 or 8 hundred-thousand doctors in The US and Canada. And the lectures they have for doctors are just that- lectures. It is not a room where you get your monthly kickback. There is not money that is exchanged, it is a nice lunch. And legally people need to disclose any drug company connections. It is not perfect but it is better. Also when reps talk to doctors it does actually help the doctors learn about the drug and most of the time it is ALL above board.

    Do you really think lunch is enough to get a doctor to "come to the dark side?" For the most part that is all that drug companies can legally do anymore.

    Yes SOME doctors do engage in illegal activity but how can you use that to justify that all doctors are lining their pockets with drug money? By that logic if you see once black guy doing crack- then they all are, or if you see one guy from Russia beat his wife then clearly all Russian men beat their wife.

    And for the record I hate the idea of prescribing the new drug just because it is new. A bunch of people who used to be on Adderall (and where doing well) now take Shires new drug, Vyvanse. Or anyone prescribing Paxil CR is an idiot since regular Paxil lasts all day. But not everyone does that.

    And do you know the difference between Cipralex/Lexapro (escitalopram) and Celexa (citalopram) is? It is very small however this is one exception and escitalopram is actually FAR superior to Celexa. Several independent meta-analysts have shown that escitalopram and Zoloft (sertraline) are the antidepressants with the highest efficacy and the fewest side effects. And escitalopram has a benefit most antidepressants don't have, it does not need to be titrated. So it can be prescribed at 20 mg and that dose is therapeutic. Zoloft and the others. takes a few days to even get to a dose that can help.

    Also I have depression and I took escitalopram and I had a rare side effect- the black box warning happened and I became suicidal and swallowed a few bottles of pills. I has never been like that except on antidepressants and escitalopram was the worst.

    Yet I know what what has happened to me is rare and for me to say, "I had a bad reaction and that makes the drug bad" is short sighted and asinine. If anyone should be furious at Forest it should be me.

    I would expect you would know that there are bad and unethical people- what a shocker.

    Source(s): I am a medical student (M.D., C.M.) at a university in Montréal, QC, Canada for psychiatry and internal medicine. I have a Hons. BSc in pharmacology and I have interned with two psychiatrists and one neurologist. I have also worked as a pharmacy assistant.
  • 4 years ago


    Source(s): Medical Consultations Via Phone :
  • ?
    Lv 4
    5 years ago

    aware drug companies pay doctors prescribe promote drugs

  • Nancy
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    They have contracts...

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  • 1 decade ago

    Spot on as ever Rhianna. When I retired the limit on freebie give away items was £5! Also the item had to be relevant to medical practice. I am the proud possessor of several bits of plastic skeleton, a couple of car safety kits, a blue rubber brain stress reliever and a few mass produced medical books, which were about the most valuable 'gifts' I ever received from pharmaceutical companies. In latter years we never had the time to have a formal lunch break in my practice and only allowed reps to bring in a few M+S sandwiches! Hardly likely to be enough there to bribe anyone.

    In Scotland around 85% of all drugs prescribed are as generics. Our practice was around 93% generic when I retired. The only drugs we specifically prescribed by brand were anticonvulsants and slow release preparations.

    There is a rigid set of rules which govern drug company rules in the UK administered by the APBI.Here are just 3 of the many articles dealing with these rules.

    Source(s): GP for more years than I care to remember
  • 7 years ago

    please if you need pain killers without priscribtion, email this vendor and you will get the best .He has been my long term suppier .(

  • Sammy
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago

    No surprises here.

    WOW, some respondents know that this is illegal ?!?!?!?!? Well, that seals it then, no more problem. We just have to slap everyone on the wrist and tell them not to do it again.

    Funny, the absence of outrage from the medical contingent, which is ALWAYS there for even the most minor infraction in the Alt Med arena.

    Hypocrisy abounds! No one is going to admit that this is a rather damning endorsement of the criticism of big pharma that the medical contingent claim is all rubbish.

  • 1 decade ago

    Damn these Pharmaceuticals! All I ever got from these assholes are ballpens and prescription pads! Can you tell me how to make them give me money?

    ( Yeah, corruption and unethical practices exist everywhere. Doctors can be bad people too but that does not mean there really is a big giant conspiracy between MDs and big pharma as the alt med loonies claim. This still does not mean that your silly alt med treatment quackeries work.)

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Bonuses to GPs from drug companies are unethical, in the UK I believe it's illegal. Now you need to remember that drug companies cannot sell drugs to GPs for GPs to then directly prescribe to patients. Before any drugs are given to patients, they have to be approved by NICE/FDA. There has to be evidence of safety and efficacy. In the UK GPs also have to follow NICE prescribing guidlines where drugs are concerned and in most cases there are clear guidlines for what drugs should be used and when.

    Dr. Frank, SkepDoc and Angrydoc are all GPs, the most they've received is a pen and maybe the odd meal.

    Ron used to be a medical rep for a drug company and I remember him saying in previous posts that the most he ever brought a Doctor was a pie and a pint, not as an incentive to proote any drugs either.

    Again, just because some Doctors are corrupt, does not mean EVERY Doctor is corrupt.

    "I know all about this, my son-in law used to work for a large drug company"

    Oh well that makes it true then!

  • 1 decade ago

    That is, as pointed out, illegal. They don't do it where I work. Any gift from any company or vendor, even a pen, is prohibited.

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