Unethical practices - drug industry

Steve Work slwork at netcom.com
Wed Sep 13 23:12:00 EST 1995

MAIKAI (maikai at aol.com) wrote:
: Were they MontBlanc or Waterman, by any chance?  You mean you actually
: bought your first stethoscope? (not a gift from a drug co?)  Groan, you've
: forced me to go through my stacks of literature........I'll give you the
: "referrals" this weekend when I have more time.  I did read that the docs
: that were good customers tended to get the good stuff......so perhaps you
: can't be bought..... and the drug reps could see that....and nowadays,
: blatant expensive gifts are illegal...I do think the bogus study
: reimbursements are still being done, though. 

Excuse me if this is a dumb question.  But how do the drug companies know 
which doctors are "good" customers?  Aren't what the doctor prescribes 
and who it's for kept confidential?   What's to keep the doctor from 
taking all those expensive gifts, telling the rep he's prescribing their 
overpriced meds, and then giving his patients a generic alterntative 
which works just as well?

Also, are there cases where drug companies try to give "samples" of 
addictive medications to doctors in order to motivate them.  I remember 
in the novel "Strong Medicine" by Arthur Hailey, that addiction by 
doctors to sample drugs was quite common.  In this book, a doctor under 
the influence of such drugs ended up killing a patient. 

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