Unethical practices - drug industry

AlWeissman alweissman at aol.com
Thu Sep 14 09:28:57 EST 1995

In article <slworkDEvno0.6Js at netcom.com>, slwork at netcom.com (Steve Work)

>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?
Many pharmacies sell their data to polling companies.  The patients' names
are stripped from the data so there is no breach of confidentiality. 
Periodically the data is sent (via disk or modem) to these companies who
can then massage it to find out, for instance, how many Rx's are being
written, how much market share a particular drug has, what the zip code of
the patient is, and which doctors are writing for what products.  Many
pharmaceutical companies buy these reports to help with their marketing,
and many reps' bonuses are based on this data.

Al Weissman, R.Ph.

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