Friday, October 17, 2014

Robert Reich: ‘Why We Allow Big Pharma To Rip Us Off’

Reich's article opens:
According to a new federal database put online last week, pharmaceutical companies and device makers paid doctors some $380 million in speaking and consulting fees over a five-month period in 2013.

Some doctors received over half a million dollars each, and others got millions of dollars in royalties from products they helped develop.

Doctors claim these payments have no effect on what they prescribe. But why would drug companies shell out all this money if it didn’t provide them a healthy return on their investment?

Why, indeed.

My PCP is a very pharmaceutically oriented doc. He knows the whole pharmacopoeia... new and old, drugs profitable to developers and drugs more typically profitable to manufacturers because they've been around for a while. One reason I go to him is that he prescribes newer drugs only when he feels there is a very good reason to prefer them to older, well-established drugs. In a presumably honest response to my inquiry, he says he's not hurting financially... he's living a very comfortable life indeed, thankyouverymuch... but he doesn't appear to earn that livelihood by taking kickbacks from pharmaceutical companies. If only more physicians took that approach!

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