martes, 12 de julio de 2016

Cómo un simple sandwich puede aumentar el precio del medicamento...

Doctors who ate a single meal on a drug company's tab had a higher likelihood of writing a prescription for the name-brand drug that was being promoted instead of equivalent drugs that were cheaper, according to a new study. And the more meals — or the more expensive the meals — the greater the rate of prescribing the pitched drug. 

 The study, published in JAMA Internal Medicine, can't show that dinner or doughnuts with the pharmaceutical company caused physicians to preferentially prescribe a particular drug, but it revealed a striking correlation between breaking bread with a sales representative who is pushing a particular drug and doctors who are prescribing it. Overall, the meals received were modest, with an average cost of less than $20. 

Jerry Avorn, a professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School who was not involved in the research, said the study was an improvement over past research because it narrowly examined doctors who received meals promoting a specific drug and their prescription behavior. The research could not prove a causal relationship, but Avorn thinks that meals are having an effect. 

 "The consequences are this is distorting health-care spending in a way that is large and unnecessary," Avorn said. "There has been a backing away from the really extravagant and frankly embarrassing giveaways of huge gifts of value. ... That’s good, but what a lot of people fail to see is having doctors learn about what drugs to use by virtue of free meals in nice restaurants is still problematic." (Más)

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