Wednesday, 23 December 2015

Rule #15: Pharmaceutical incentives

It was just announced that a big pharmaceutical company (GlaxoSmithKline) is going to stop paying doctors to promote its drugs and sever the link between pay for its sales representatives and the number of prescriptions physicians write. How noble of them. I can’t believe they’re openly admitting to offering these types of incentives in the first place. Where the hell are our government representatives in all this? Shouldn’t it be illegal to financially compensate a doctor for pushing a certain medication? Medicines are supposed to be for people who NEED them. Not sold to as many people as possible to maximize profit like a cheeseburger. This is another fine example of how we allow the almighty dollar to trump common sense and self respect.

Glaxo’s move to end these incentives sounds like a respectable move on their part, but in reality the move comes as drug companies face closer scrutiny on how much they pay doctors under new US legislation, known as the Sunshine Act.

Doctors should be looking for drug free ways to help patients instead of pushing pills to line their pockets. And the fact that there is no legislation to prevent this is extremely unsettling. We shouldn’t need legislation. Doctors should be able to self-police themselves to make the right decisions, but unfortunately, we don’t live in that world. Yet.

In the new world, any incentives for pill pushing will be outlawed and punished.


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