Doctor's Receiving Kickbacks from Pharmaceutical Companies for Needless Prescriptions

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posted on Jan, 27 2010 @ 10:50 AM
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Some of you may be aware of this, some may not be. So I thought I'd share something I learned while backing it up with some online information. Do you ever wonder why sometimes you can't leave the doctor's office without being issued 4-5 prescription-only medications? When I go for my regular asthma check-ups (something I've had my entire life), it's impossible to leave with less than 3 prescriptions. If I go while sick while having a cold, flu, cough, or other general ailment, it's not uncommon to get 4-5 prescriptions.

My husband explained it to me that pharmaceutical companies actually pay bonuses to doctors to write more prescriptions. I looked it up and this seems true:

 

SOURCE 1: Massive medical fraud exposed: pharmaceutical company paid doctors to prescribe drugs and run sham clinical trials


Here's a must-read article for anyone interested in learning how the pharmaceutical industry really operates. It's a case of aggressive marketing gone bad, with a mixture of corrupt physicians, underhanded payola and a near-total disregard for patient health. And yet it's business as usual in the pharmaceutical industry: drug maker Schering-Plough, one of the largest drug companies in the world, has been outright bribing physicians to prescribe drugs and operate sham clinical trials.

Here's how it would work: doctors who prescribed the drug company's products and avoided competing drugs were paid "consulting fees" of tens of thousands of dollars. And what kind of consulting did these doctors do? The kind of consulting that requires nothing more than signing a blank sheet of paper and cashing the check, of course. And thousands of doctors participated in this criminal scam, collecting untold sums of money in exchange for hyping Schering-Plough's pharmaceuticals to patients. (Medical ethics, anyone?)

SOURCE 2: Which Drug To Prescribe? / Are Doctors Influenced By Pharmaceutical Sales Reps?


An article in U.S. News & World Report (2/19/2001) took aim at the impact pharmaceutical sales reps have on the prescribing habits of physicians. Are the decisions doctor's make about which drugs to prescribe based on knowledge, expertise, your needs, or are they influenced by drug sales reps?

There have been a few doctor's offices which have closed their doors to drug sales reps, realizing that it is the job of the rep to sway them toward new and heavily promoted drugs. However, the key word here is "few". It is not the majority of doctors taking this action.

Most doctors claim they are not influenced by marketing ploys but research has shown otherwise. A study published in a 1994 issue of JAMA, reveals that doctors who made specific requests to insurance companies that a particular drug be added to the formulary list were 13 times more likely to have met with a rep promoting the drug than doctors not making any such request.

SOURCE 3: Kickbacks - payments to physicians by pharmaceutical industry for product promotion


Last month, the Office of the Inspector General, Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) issued a "Special Fraud Alert" targeting aggressive drug industry marketing involving cash and other payments to doctors and pharmacists to promote specific products. The Inspector General warned that such schemes may be in violation of Medicare and Medicaid anti-kickback laws (American Medical News, 29 August 1994). DHHS is concerned that aggressive promotional incentives could harm patients if they influence doctors to make medically inappropriate prescribing choices.


 

To skirt the laws, instead of cash bonuses, the kickbacks now consist of tangible goods as well as vacations. I thought this was interesting and wanted to pass this along. It's against the law and there have been crackdowns but it seems many found a loopholes in the form of 'gratuity' instead of actual payments.




posted on Jan, 27 2010 @ 11:53 AM
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This is absolutely true. I know this from working on a Federal criminal case involving prescription drugs.

While it is illegal for a pharmaceutical company to give a direct payment to a doctor for prescribing a particular medication, there are many ways around those laws.

One of the most popular is to hold ‘information seminars’ regarding a particular drug. These medical symposiums are invariably held in places like Las Vegas, the Bahamas, etc. Basically, the doctor receives an all expense paid trip to a vacation wonderland and is required to attend a 3 hour seminar or the like. The rest of the week is free golf and booze. Often even spouses and senior secretaries/nurses are invited. The doctors invited are the ones who have been the most successful in pushing the companies junk.

Even worse, these companies use the party as a tax deduction! Just another illustration of how the War on Drugs is such a joke. We end up with licensed pushers sending their dealers on vacation and we pay for it – all with the sanctioning of the government. That’s the only difference between these creeps and the dealer on the corner.



posted on Jan, 27 2010 @ 12:19 PM
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I would agree Ash', and I always joke to my doctor about it and he just laughs it off. They probably get the most kickbacks from prescribing long-term antidepressants.

My doctor is always trying to find any reason to prescribe me antidepressants.

Peace



posted on Jan, 27 2010 @ 12:33 PM
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I would be curious about something ... many doctors work both in their own private practice in conjunction with the hospital. What I wonder is if a patient is more or less likely to receive multiple prescriptions (or) a particular branding depending on which setting the patient sees the same doctor?



posted on Jan, 27 2010 @ 12:36 PM
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reply to post by LadySkadi
 


You're more likely to be prescribed an expensive, new drug in a private clinic setting. In the hospital setting, we're required to file "conflict of interest" papers every year (at least in most hospitals), and not divulging that you are a paid speaker (or any other financial ties) to a company means immediate termination.

In the private setting, you are your own boss, so anything goes, within legal bounds.



posted on Jan, 27 2010 @ 12:37 PM
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[edit on 27-1-2010 by solarstorm]



posted on Jan, 27 2010 @ 12:43 PM
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reply to post by Dr Love
 


That's interesting you bring that up, Doc. For me it's Advair (asthma steroids). I haven't seen a new doctor in years that hasn't brought up Advair. I'm already on it (been on it for quite a few years now) but it is frustrating to have that be one of the first things to come up in conversation every time.

In 2005 alone it made over $11 BILLION in profit. Hm...

LadiSkadi, that's a good question. I would think it wouldn't matter. I mean, if it goes by who issued the prescription. Not sure but now you have me curious.

ETA: Thanks, VneZonyDostupa, for replying with your educated answer. I was wondering, too.


[edit on 1/27/2010 by AshleyD]



posted on Jan, 27 2010 @ 12:52 PM
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This happens, no doubt. Pharmaceutical industry is just another industry and it is pretty sad. However there are a lot ,and i mean a LOT of decent Doctors around. Most people who start studying medicine do it for reasons other then mighty $.
Over-prescribing is serious issue, i do not try to downplay it. People (lots) do die from side effects of drug they never needed to take in the first place. It just shows that finding a professional honest Doctor is a "little" more important then good honest car mechanic. And yet i know lots of people who put superhuman efforts to find good place to fix a car, but Dr they pick according to geographic proximity and lack of waiting list.



posted on Jan, 27 2010 @ 01:08 PM
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reply to post by ZeroKnowledge
 

I would have to agree with you. It's really about finding a doctor you can trust. So much depends on that, alone.
_______________________________

I would also wonder how much location plays into this... for instance: rural vs urban vs suburban, and socio-economic standards. Who is more likely to be over-medicated? Does population demographics play a roll? I would guess that it does...

_______________________________

Personally, I've never been to a doctor that has done this. I've a few times even had a doctor straight up tell me that the best thing is to go home and sleep/drink and that I could be prescribed something if I wanted it, but it was likely not to make much of a difference.

Now, this could go one of two ways - if I was the type to want to be medicated, I would take that offer, but since I'm not that type, I did not. I think most importantly, it comes down to your ability to know yourself and what you need, as well as finding the doctor that has a similar philosophy.



posted on Jan, 27 2010 @ 01:31 PM
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It's also worth noting that those physicians who are not "on the take" with Pharma companies receive little to no reimbursement from insurance and Medicare for writing you a prescription. Most physicians make their money in procedures or specialist visits (if they're a specialist). That's why family practitioner salaries are so low: few procedures to be done.



posted on Jan, 27 2010 @ 01:59 PM
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reply to post by AshleyD
 


One more reason why single-payer is the best solution to an extremely complicated dilemma.

Best,
Skunknuts



posted on Jan, 27 2010 @ 02:26 PM
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It's called iatrogenic death -- Doctors are the third leading cause of death in the U.S. through wrong prescription drugs:

www.naturodoc.com...

But then the University research to create these drugs is also controlled by corporate donations which are tax deductible for the corporation, in return for free research facility, free researchers, free research equipment AND a so-called "scientific" study to prove your drug works! Great scam science is.

books.google.com...



But, Epstein says, there is much more. In particular, the book shows how the NCI and ACS are corroded with major institutional and personal conflicts of interest with cancer drug companies ("Big Pharma"). As candidly admitted by a recent NCI director, the NCI has become a "government pharmaceutical company." For the ACS, these conflicts extend to environmental polluters in the chemical industry, and connivance in white collar crime. Not surprisingly, The Chronicle of Philanthropy has charged that "the ACS is more interested in accumulating wealth than saving lives." These close ties to industry have transformed the NCI and ACS into cheerleaders for special interests rather than stewards of the public interest. Astoundingly, and for the first time, Epstein chronicles how the NCI and ACS are sitting on mountains of information about avoidable environmental causes of cancer rather than making this available to the public in any systematic and understandable way.


reply to post by ZeroKnowledge
 




[edit on 27-1-2010 by drew hempel]



posted on Jan, 27 2010 @ 02:38 PM
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reply to post by drew hempel
 


Actually, most research dollars come from the NIH and NSF. They provide the largest portion of university-level grants for biological, chemical, and physical research.

As for iatrogenic deaths, it's not that doctors "cause" deaths. When you have a patient in the ICU, that means they're body has taken a lot of trauma, either physically or due to infection. ANY medication given at that stage of disease/trauma has to be relatively powerful, and thus would carry a proportional risk to the patient. Your choices are to either push the drug, which carries risk of death, or do nothing, which often carries an ABSOLUTE chance of death.

If you compare the number of patients who are victims to iatrogenic death to the number of patients who survive a critical illness or injury, you would see that those same drugs you're blaming deaths on save easily 100 times as many people. It's not some hidden knowledge that powerful medications are risky. You have to sign a consent form for ANY sort of treatment, which fully discloses this risk, along with percentages of each outcome occuring.

It's no coincidence that the average lifespan in all but the poorest of the poor nations is constantly increasing as we advance our medical theory.



posted on Jan, 27 2010 @ 03:01 PM
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First of all if you read Dr. Samuel Epstein's research he takes into account increases in life span when considering cancer. But regardless of squabbling about statistics and the correlations which medicine is based on, there is a deeper issue involved.

Certainly there is a high rate of injury from industrial accidents -- cars, work, etc. -- probably higher than 5% of the population. But when we define people by statistics then we are harming people just by our way of defining reality. Plato did this by stating each citizen is the ratio 9/8 which must be averaged or "compromised" for the good of the state -- through mass ritual sacrifice -- and this was based on science developing from harmonics. In other words when 9/8 as each citizen (or harmonic ratio) is cubed it creates the square root of two also called the Devil's Interval or tritone in music, but still the basis for equal-tempered tuning. Modern science then developed from this concept of alogon or the irrational geometric magnitude. Plato integrated the law, the state, medicine, mathematics and philosophy of science as the foundation for Western civilization.

So, for example, you state that average life span has increased and continues to do so -- but, in fact, average life span depends not just on how long people individually live but also on the death rate of new borns. So a culture could have a fairly high rate of death of new borns but also have a very long life span yet this is averaged out so that the culture appears to have lifespans which are "short, brutish and nasty" to quote Hobbes -- or was it Locke?

Doesn't matter because the fact is there's been a huge population explosion of humans due to Western materialism which at the same time has drastically decreased the quality of life. So people may live longer but they live a life of drudgery doing repetitive work in sweatshops after they survived feudal colonial slavery, etc. Whereas 90% of human history -- particularly the Bushmen culture -- was a hunter-gatherer culture which rotated work based on the seasonal lunar cycle. This was the case in the U.S. just 250 years ago.

So as Western "progress" spread there were many "victims of progress" as the excellent book by Professor John Bodley is titled:

www.amazon.com...

And it's not just people that suffer -- Western civilization has utterly destroyed the "quality of life" for ecology as well, as Professor Alfred Crosby's excellent book "Ecological Imperialism" details:

books.google.com... ult&ct=result&resnum=4&ved=0CBYQ6AEwAw#v=onepage&q=&f=false

So that the modern longer life span of Westernized humans should be more readily compared with the life of a virus or pestilence. Dr. Vandana Shiva's book "Monocultures of the Mind"

www.amazon.com...

captures this type of "averaging out" mentality quite well.

Admittedly Western science and imperialism are good are creating "lots of things" -- lots of people, lots of products -- but at what cost?

Marx called it "primitive accumulation" but in terms of ecology it's a boom-bust cycle -- you get population explosion and then collapse --

and this population explosion which enables a longer AVERAGE life span for those who can become Westernized -- again at a lower quality of life -- comes at a great expense for the "victims of progress."

Noam Chomsky's book "Year 501: The Conquest Continues" is a more accurate depiction of the Western model for the rest of the world -- not exactly based on the principle of

"do no harm."

www.amazon.com...

[edit on 27-1-2010 by drew hempel]



posted on Jan, 27 2010 @ 03:13 PM
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reply to post by drew hempel
 


I'm not sure any of that has to do with this discussion. To be honest, I couldn't be bothered to piece together the random and unconnected thoughts. If you could repost it in a more organized fashion, and without the esoteric philosophy and geometry diversions, I would be more than happy to read it.

I will point out, though, that lifespan is not intrinsically linked to infant mortality. Even so, current infant mortality rates, even in the third world, are lower than they were 100 years ago, purely due to the advances in medical science, namely, keeping the birthing area (and all people involved) relatively clean, following proper nutrition during pregnancy, and Caesarean section births.




[edit on 1/27/2010 by VneZonyDostupa]



posted on Jan, 27 2010 @ 03:22 PM
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Check out 2:10 on this:

www.youtube.com...

reply to post by VneZonyDostupa
 




[edit on 27-1-2010 by drew hempel]



posted on Jan, 27 2010 @ 03:23 PM
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reply to post by drew hempel
 


Will do. Give me a few minutes to finish something else up and then I'll watch it and get back to you.



posted on Jan, 27 2010 @ 03:29 PM
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reply to post by ZeroKnowledge
 


I'll have to disagree. I'm an RN and I work in the healthcare field. I think MANY doctors mean well but are just completely uninformed when it comes to many areas of health. It sounds VERY ironic but you have to understand VERY few doctors think outside the box in western medicine. And I would say allopathic doctors trained in the USA are worse than anyone as far as thinking outside the box. What I mean is medicine in the west is WAY TOO PATERNALISTIC as are so many aspects of our society. This is partly the fault of doctors themselves but more importantly the fault of the bureaucracy that exists in medicine and our higher learning institutions. Colleges are businesses and they get HUGE support from the government in the form of research grants and student loans etc. and we all know who is pulling the strings in government nowadays.......THE CORPORATION! Doctors in the USA on average are just victims of indoctrination. This is evident in the HUGE cholesterol/heart disease scam that has been perpetrated agains the American people.

France and other European countries seem to be much more into alternative medicine andthinking outside the box as far as treating chronic health and disease. For example, mistletoe is actually used by mainstream doctors in European countries to fight and treat cancer. The FDA has not approved it in the USA. The FDA, NIH, NCI are very corrupt and deceitful organizations. AHA etc. These organizations are funded by big business, if you dig deep enough you will see that the same old wealthy elite are behind the American healthcare system.

I think there are some wonderful doctors, especially many that truly mean well, but I don't think they are a majority in the USA sorry.. Just look at the state of alternative medicine in this country. Lots of doctors still refuse to even pay attention to anything having to do with alternative medicine.

I work in an acute care hospital as an RN. The stuff I see that goes on daily is scary. I have a lot of respect for medicine and but it's like government. Too many bad apples have spoiled the bunch and our medical system has been bought and paid for by corporate interests.

[edit on 27-1-2010 by Zosynspiracy]

[edit on 27-1-2010 by Zosynspiracy]

[edit on 27-1-2010 by Zosynspiracy]



posted on Jan, 27 2010 @ 03:36 PM
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reply to post by drew hempel
 


Alright, I watched the whole video, and I still don't see your point. Are you actually arguing that we return to an existence where it was common for mothers to die in childbirth, for the average lifespan to reach about 40, where infant mortality was a faand where development stagnated around the stone age?

During the Middle Ages, it seems 20% of women died in childbirth (currently, 11 in 100,000 women in America will die in childbirth, or 0.011%), and 5% of children died at birth, with another 10-12% dying in the first month for a total 15-17% infant mortality (again, these figures today in America are 47 out of 1000, or 4.7% of children under a year of age will die).

Middle Ages Stats

Current IM stats

Current Material Death Stats

I just don't see how you can argue with plain facts. Quality and quantity of life has drastically improved since our hunter-gatherer days.



posted on Jan, 27 2010 @ 03:37 PM
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One other note I think the US healthcare system is COMPLETELY devoid of anything spiritual. Unless it's a double blind placebo controlled study doctors don't want to listen to anything. Medicine is way to compartmentalized nowadays. For example, if you go into a hospital you'll have upwards of 3-4 specialists on your case. You could have an internist, a nephrologist, a neurologist, and a pulmonologist all seeing you for something that doesn't require anything but the internist and god forbid your attending doctor does something or prescribes something that should have been done by another specialist. And we wonder why healthcare is so expensive nowadays. And trying to get these doctors on the same page is almost impossible.



[edit on 27-1-2010 by Zosynspiracy]





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