How Drug Reps Influence Your Doctor

Granted, there may be a tiny silver lining in the rise of prescription drug sales, but this study about the success of drug sales reps in convincing your doctor to prescribe the drug Neurontin (gabapentin) make you believe otherwise.

After tracking more than 100 visits made by drug reps to 97 doctors in hopes of spurring sales of Neurontin, researchers found nearly half of the physicians contacted said they intended to increase their prescribing of the anti-seizure drug or recommend that their colleagues do the same. One way to seal the deal: Salespeoples gave or promised to give samples to doctors almost 40 percent of the time.

Even more insidious, the primary sales pitch during 38 percent of these visits involved at least one off-label use for Neurontin, something I warned you about two years ago.

Despite growing public assurances to the contrary, one researcher was amazed "how effective a very brief visit by a drug representative -- most often less than five minutes -- can be in influencing physicians' choices to use a drug for an unapproved indication."

Just one more indication of how the fatally flawed health care paradigm, addicted to useless and often toxic pills and procedures, really is, why you should stay far away from it.

Public Library of Science, Vol. 4, No. 4, April 2007

Science Blog April 24, 2007

MSNBC April 23, 2007