medical bribery

Doctors receive money from pharmaceutical companies. In exchange, it appears that some/many doctors prescribe medication that benefits those companies.

From NPR:

"A ProPublica analysis has found that doctors who receive payments from the medical industry do indeed prescribe drugs differently on average than their colleagues who don't. And the more money they receive, the more brand-name medications they tend to prescribe.

We matched records on payments from pharmaceutical and medical device makers in 2014 with corresponding data on doctors' medication choices in Medicare's prescription drug program.

Doctors who got money from drug and device makers prescribed a higher percentage of brand-name drugs overall than doctors who didn't, our analysis showed. Even those who simply got meals from companies prescribed more brand-name drugs, on average.

Moreover, as payments increased, brand-name prescribing rates tended to as well. Doctors who received more than $5,000 from companies in 2014 typically had the highest brand-name prescribing percentages. Among internists who received no payments, for example, the average brand-name prescribing rate was about 20 percent, compared to about 30 percent for those who received more than $5,000."

According to the report, In California, where I live, 66.7% of the doctors received a payment in 2014.

OMG! So patients now have to protect ourselves from their doctors, doctors who are probably participating in the Big Pharma "bribe to prescribe" program??? How the heck can we patients question our doctor as to whether or not they are prescribing proper and necessary medication? The conversation might go like this ...

Patient: "Doctor, you want me to start taking this brand name drug. Are you prescribing this medication for me because I need it or because you are being bribed to do so?"

Doctor: "Don't question me. I'm a doctor, you aren't. I went to medical school, you didn't! Shut up and start taking the pills."