Medical schools starting to warn of sales pitches from pharmeceutical companies

Are doctors wined-n-dined by pharmaceutical sales reps these days? Of course — sales representatives have sales quotas to meet just like car salesmen, and the most tuned-in audience are doctors and those that have the control to prescribe medications.

With all the knowledge medical doctors must have before becoming licensed, the specific interactions of pharmaceutical drugs and the science (and non-science sometimes) behind each and every drug that is prescribed to a patient is probably not the top priority. The top priority is fixing problems with the metaphorical band-aid instead of fixing the root cause in my opinion.

Why not? Revenues soar, people are “patched” and everyone is happy. But now, medical schools in several states are popularizing more programs that teach doctors and medical students to challenge the sales pitches of drug companies and their sales representatives — and to avoid being dazzled by the circus. In total, the pharmaceutical industry spends billions of dollars a year on marketing to directly to doctors with legions of sales forces — sometimes throwing lavish events to close the sale on certain high-profit drugs.

As I’ve thought for years and years, this sounds like a huge conflict of interest to me. Are patient’s needs the top concern or are lavish drug-company-sponsored parties and the sale of prescription drugs at all costs?

Author by Brian White