Doctors and Generic Drugs

A study published in JAMA, the journal of the American Medical Association, found that doctors who work in hospitals prescribe fewer prescription drugs and more generic drugs when the hospital in which they work limits the ability of pharmaceutical sales representatives to wander the halls.

In other words, the more access drug company reps have to these doctors, the more the doctors prescribe brand-name, more expensive drugs.

Let us put aside the brand name versus generic drug argument for now and look at another issue:

What does this tell us about doctors?

Consider how much money doctors make.

The average orthopedist makes $443,000 a year.

The average cardiologist $410,000.

The average general surgeon $322,000.

The average ob/gyn $277,000.

What does it say about these doctors, all making six figures and many of them among the one percent, that they can be bought off with a few complimentary pens, a box lunch, or a pair of tickets to a ball game or play from a drug company sales rep?

What it says…isn’t good.  Isn’t good at all.



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