A new study by JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association) found that even in states such as Minnesota and Vermont where gifts given to doctors by pharmaceutical companies are publicly viewable, documentation is hard to obtain and even harder to decipher.
The new study was aimed to determine the “accessibility and quality of disclosure data and the number, value, and type of payments of $100 or more to physicians. ” After research, the study found that in Vermont, drug companies did not release 61% of the payment details to doctors, because they were designated “trade secrets”. Of the payments that were released, 75% of them were “missing information necessary to identify the recipient”. In Minnesota, only 25% actually reported in each of the 3 years.
JAMA found that, “in Vermont, among 12,227 payments totaling $2.18 million publicly disclosed, there were 2416 payments of $100 or more to physicians; total, $1.01 million; median payment, $177 (range, $100-$20,000). In Minnesota, among 6946 payments totaling $30.96 million publicly disclosed, there were 6238 payments of $100 or more to physicians; total, $22.39 million; median payment, $1000 (range, $100-$922,239). Physician-specific analyses were possible only in Minnesota, identifying 2388 distinct physicians who received payment of $100 or more; median number of payments received, 1 (range, 1-88) and the median amount received, $1000 (range, $100-$1 178,203). ”
This could affect you in several ways. First, gifts received by doctors sway what medication doctors are prescribing their patients, not based on the medical need of the patient, but on the personal greed of the physician. Second, excessive advertising to both the consumer and doctors has led to the over inflated price of prescription medication in America.
Joshua Daly is the author of many health related articles as well as the President of ePharmacies.com. Joshua's goal is to help consumers save money and make better informed decisions. Click here for more information on ordering from a discount online pharmacy .
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