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5 Shocking Stats About Doctors

Nina Kim | NursingLink

#2: Doctors Accept Freebies From Big Pharma

When patients get prescriptions from doctors, they probably assume the doctors are prescribing them what would be best for their conditions. But medical professionals know that the extent to which those prescriptions are influenced by pharmaceutical companies can be fairly high.

On January 1, 2009, the pharmaceutical industry voluntarily agreed to stop giving freebies, like Zoloft soap dispensers and Viagra pens, to doctors. But drug companies still give free drug samples and continue to pay doctors tens of thousands of dollars to use their products. In 2008 alone, they spent nearly $16 billion in free drug samples to doctors.

The companies also spent more than $6 billion on “detailing” — an industry term to describe the sales activities of drug representatives, like providing meal-time presentations or personally visiting doctors’ offices.

With all this courting of doctors by pharmaceutical companies, it’s rather unsettling that 94% of doctors have accepted some kind of freebie from a drug company.

Source: New England Journal of Medicine and IMS Health, a health care information company

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