Physicians On The Take

Our Drug Dealers Are Selling Us Out

No, that drug peddler probably doesn’t go by the name Bobo, or JeYaz, or Spider, more like Dr. Goldsmith. In the most recent poll lead by researcher Eric Campbell to verify facts, these researchers with knowing habits of American’s physicians, mailed them $20 enclosed in a “Do you accept bribes from drug companies,” questionnaire.

It turns out virtually all doctors in this national survey which includes six specialities, reported some type of ‘take’ – ranging from fee offers of consulting and/or lecture payments in exchange for recommendations their patients who visit said doctor’s office, suck down drugs sold by the physician’s friendly drug company sponsor(s).

  • 93% Free drinks in the work place (If facing surgery, do check your doctor’s breath.)
  • 78% Free Drugs and/or extra Drug samples
  • 18% Payments for even unqualified, consulting (plus travel, meetings, lodging, food, expenses)
  • 16% Payments for speaking (plus travel, meetings, lodging, food, expenses)
  • 15% Reimbursement Payments (for meeting expenses, travel, food, lodging)
  • 7% Tickets to Sporting, Entertainment, Cultural Events

And to we misguided enough to think that drug prescription we get is about us – we who are even sillier to believe it’s about our health – Americas medical system has turned upside down to the point there is just about nothing in it for a doctor to keep you healthy.

Before this century, charlatans existed, sure. They usually traveled from town to town hawking tonics made of various chemicals, alcohol, herbs, paint thinner. The traveling medicine man hooked a lot of good gawd fearin’ farm wives, addiction reigned. Church goin’ men who never darkened the door of the local saloon became unknowing boozers.

Most local family physicians were truly dedicated to keeping patients healthy. People paid the doctor to stay in fine-fettle. If you got sick the doctor just took care of you. Physicians who didn’t keep patients fairly healthy, back then were not protected by AMA, they were exposed and shunned. Neighbors often hung a red lantern beside the doctor’s door to warn people away.

This latest round of admitting ,”What can we get from the Pfizer/Merck crowd, via the random survey, sampled 3,167 fine physicians of several specialities. Cardiologists were all heart, serving up prescriptions for whatever they wanted their patients to buy. Heart doctors were twice as likely as most to give up your best interests in lieu of their own greed.

There are families and families. Family practitioners on average reported meeting 16 times a month with industry reps selling drugs, less often than many spend time with their biological families. This was the most drug company time, spent by doctors of any group.

Greatest odds of getting payments from the medical industry were physicians who were male. Their patient population made up of less than 25% on Medicaid or uninsured. Sounds like if you have less insurance cash, you get less when doc’s putting together a tasty drug-Sundae.

“Doctors say they can’t be bought with a free pizza, research leader Campbell says, but social sciences research shows that even inexpensive gifts can influence behavior.

Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of American PhRMA), the main trade group for prescription drug makers, adopted a volunteer Code on Interaction with health care professionals in April 2002. Guidelines then said that only modest meals and gifts (and only those useful in medical practice) should be allowed.

“Marketing is one of several important ways for health care providers to receive the information they need to make sure medicines are used properly and patients are safely and effectively treated,” is PhRMA senior vice president Ken Johnson’s statement issued in response to Campbell’s published paper.

Lead author of the research Eric Campbell worked with co-author Shahran Ahari who states that he worked as a drug rep for nearly two years after earning his bachelor degree in molecular biology. He says he was the only person with a science education in PhRMA. Drug representatives looking for buyers, “Target high drug prescribers.”

Copyright (c) Strasbaugh

Claudia Strasbaugh was a freelance writer who founded Scripps Ranch/Mira Mesa Writer’s Guild, was head writer for the weekly TV show “Kill ‘EM With Comedy,” plus California Bureau Chief for National Lotto World Magazine. Claudia also ran a nonprofit called Dinner On A Dollar. Sadly, Claudia passed away in 2015, but we are pleased to display her writing works.