How Pharma Changes Your Doctor’s Mind

Researchers provide the most detailed findings yet on financial ties between the pharmaceutical industry and physicians—and how those ties affect patients.
Two studies examine how interactions between the pharmaceutical industry and physicians may influence health care.

For people wondering where their out-of-pocket medical payments actually go, two new studies have some solid clues. Documenting both the influence of sales calls on physician decisions and the medical specialties that receive the most industry dollars, the studies published in JAMA are the latest to disclose the disconcerting involvement of pharmaceutical money in medical care. The data make clear that money we pay at the prescription pick-up counter is being used to shape what we pay for upon subsequent visits.

Brand or Generic? 

In one paper, Ian Larkin and colleagues at the University of California, Los Angeles, examined whether restrictions on marketing imposed by some academic medical centers had any effect on physicians’ prescribing habits

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