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Drug Companies Are Bribing Your Doctor

It is no secret that drug companies make nearly $400 billion every year and are among the most profitable industries on earth. They advertise to the public at a tune of $3 billion on direct-to-consumer ads Many don't realize that they spend 500 percent more than that, or $15 billion per year, or about $10,000 for EVERY single doctor, to market their drugs. Now a NY Times extensive article shows that many of the drug companies are just simply bypassing the traditional ways of influencing doctors' prescribing habits and just writing them checks directly. Some doctors are getting six-figure checks.

Various investigations into drug industry marketing are now underway to determine whether drug companies are persuading doctors--often through payoffs--to prescribe drugs that patients do not need or should not use or for which there may be cheaper alternatives. Investigators are also seeking to determine whether the companies are manipulating prices to cheat the federal Medicaid and Medicare health programs. Most of the big drug companies, meanwhile, are also grappling with a welter of suits filed by state attorneys general, industry whistle-blowers and patient-rights groups over similar accusations.

New York Times June 27, 2004

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