Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Doctors Can Think For Themselves

Something I found to be absolutely true, in my experience, and that of the many, many other MDs I know:

The billions that drug companies spend on personal visits to promote new drugs and hand out free samples to doctors have little effect on how doctors prescribe drugs, according to a study published on Wednesday.

Not only that, but I have never written a prescription just because the patient asked for it, nor do I know any MD who does that. [Granted, Ob/Gyns are not on the frontlines of colds and flu, but I've had my share of inappropriate pain meds requests.]


At 3:04 AM, Blogger archcrone said...

Ema, what is the rate of increase in patients asking for particular drugs that they see on tv commercials?
I hate those commercials, mostly because the way they're worded, just about everyone would fit the profile to use the drug of choice.

At 10:06 PM, Blogger ema said...

It depends on the drug, and I'm not sure what the specific rates of increases are. I recall a Kaiser* study that found ~30% of pts who see an ad, talk to their MD about it, and 12-25% of this group specifically ask to be precribed a drug they saw advertised.

Here are two examples I found. From Sept. 1998, when DTCs for Detrol (a drug for urinary incontinence) started, to Sept. 1999 doctor visits requesting Detrol rose from 12% to 18%. For Levitra (for impotence): from October to November 2003 patient requests for Levitra grew 51% (article)

*Kaiser Family Foundation Understanding the Effects of Direct-to-Consumer Prescription DrugAdvertising, November 2001

At 1:03 AM, Blogger archcrone said...

Thanks, Ema.


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