miércoles, 24 de junio de 2009

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Everybody likes something free, and free prescription drug samples are no exception. Patients love to receive them, and doctors feel good about handing them out. The practice of providing free drug samples is based on the tacit assumption that “sampling” does much more good than harm.

In two separate news releases within the past year by the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA)
, the trade organization that represents the country's largest and leading drug companies, a senior vice president claimed that free samples improve patient care, foster appropriate medication use, and help millions of financially struggling patients.

He averred further that samples benefit physicians by exposing them to new treatment options
. In this essay, we question the assumption that good trumps harm when prescription drugs are provided free to practicing doctors. We argue that “sampling” is not effective in improving drug access for the indigent, does not promote rational drug use, and raises the cost of care.

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