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Invisiblezorbman
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Doctors routinely bribed to push Big Pharma's latest drugs:
    #4437294 - 07/22/05 10:10 AM (11 years, 4 months ago)

In 2001, 2.8 billion prescriptions were filled in the United States for an average of 9.9 prescriptions per person. This statistic taken from Ultraprevention, by Drs. Mark Hyman and Mark Liponis, certainly supports their point that "drug industry prescriptions have gotten far out of hand." The overabundance of prescriptions isn't because of a rise in illnesses or the availability of new drugs that effectively and safely treat chronic diseases; rather, it is because of the corruption of mainstream medicine. The philanthropy that was once present in modern medicine has been replaced by a love of money, which gave rise to an elaborate system of bribery, conflict of interest and deception.

How does your doctor decide which medications to prescribe? Is the decision based on the first-hand testimonies of other patients? Is the decision made after a careful and thorough research of medical journals? Usually not. As Michael T. Murray explains in Natural Alternatives to Drugs, your doctor's decision has nothing to do with medicine: "Most physicians do not make decisions about which drug to use on the basis of scientific research or cost. They base their decision almost entirely on which drug is the most popular choice of their colleagues.

What determines popularity? The effectiveness of the drug company's marketing and advertising efforts. In essence, doctors are often bribed or lied to so that they will prescribe certain medications." Bribery is a danger in any business sector. In medicine, bribes can prove downright deadly; nevertheless, they are shockingly common.

How would you like a bonus of $100,000 per year on top of your already outrageously high salary? Wow, that sounds like a dream, doesn't it? Well, for many doctors, obtaining a bonus of that amount is a reality. These days, the majority of doctors have dived right into the "deep waters of entrepreneurship, where there is always the danger of conflict of interest between patient care and making a buck," as Martin. L. Gross phrases it in The Medical Racket. Entrepreneurship has turned the medical industry into a giant game, where patients serve as the chips, their lives the bets, and jackpots are won by doctors, hospitals and pharmaceutical companies.

At times, the bribes are obvious, such as when pharmaceutical companies send physicians on exotic vacations in exchange for listening to lectures about the companies' drugs for a few hours of the day, while the rest of the day is quite literally a day at the beach (or the golf course). The ways in which some hospitals bribe physicians are especially sickening, according to Professor Ann Blake Tracy in Prozac: Panacea or Pandora: "Did you know that some hospitals offer special incentive deals that give doctors valuable gifts like fax machines and car phones, if they schedule surgeries when the hospitals are hurting for business?" Incentives belong in car dealerships, not in doctors' offices.

(End part I).


--------------------
“The crisis takes a much longer time coming than you think, and then it happens much faster than you would have thought.”  -- Rudiger Dornbusch


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Invisiblezorbman
blarrr
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Registered: 06/04/04
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Re: Doctors routinely bribed to push Big Pharma's latest drugs: [Re: zorbman]
    #4437300 - 07/22/05 10:11 AM (11 years, 4 months ago)

...continued... Sometimes the corruption is not as conspicuous; it could be a matter concerning conflicts of interest. "Conflicts of interest are institutional weeds. They take root below the surface and become pervasive problems often long before they show their ugliness," Dr. Jerome P. Kassirer quotes an "observer" as having stated in his book, On the Take. Now, what are these conflicts of interest, and are doctors really so susceptible? Dr. Kassirer asks a few questions in order to determine the severity of this subtle corruption: "Have the fees that physicians charge given them an incentive to bring patients back to their offices too often, or to order too many tests that aren't needed? Or have they skimped on tests if ordering too many shrinks their paycheck? Are they more inclined to order certain expensive drugs or promote certain products because of personal financial relations with some of the drug companies, contrary to patients' best interests?" The answer to all these questions is, unfortunately, yes, which signals the existence of a pervasive level of corruption.

Now you know why doctors' prescriptions follow trends and why the whole world seems to be on the same drug at the same time. Now you know why so few doctors prescribe alternative medicines for their patients: Nature doesn?t offer bribes.

One big question, however, remains unanswered: How can doctors accept these bribes and look in the mirror afterward? According to Dr. Kassirer, it's all a matter of self-deception: "Physicians know that pharmaceutical companies don't provide these services simply out of altruistic motives, yet they are eager to believe that they can preserve their integrity in the face of such bribes. How then, do they cope with the gross discrepancies between the knowledge that they are being bought and their need to believe that they cannot be bought? Disavowal probably explains much of the mechanism of self-deception. Whereas avowal is a capacity to identify one's true thoughts and motives, disavowal aids self-deception by evading these motives." In other words, corrupt doctors actively try not to question themselves about it, thereby perpetuating their state of self-deception.

Physicians may not overly concern themselves about the bribery they allow to take place, but we as consumers must. Gross asks, "What could be better than stopping the waste of $100 billion (at the very least) in medical, dental and pharmaceutical fraud, and using the money for any good purpose, including lower federal taxes for all? And in the process, cleansing the stain that dishonest doctors have cast on the profession and, by extension, on their honest colleagues?"

Ask yourself that same question. There is no downside to stopping medical corruption right here, right now.

Jul 7, 2005 PT by Dani Veracity
Newstarget.com


--------------------
“The crisis takes a much longer time coming than you think, and then it happens much faster than you would have thought.”  -- Rudiger Dornbusch


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OfflinePhluck
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Re: Doctors routinely bribed to push Big Pharma's latest drugs: [Re: zorbman]
    #4437444 - 07/22/05 11:09 AM (11 years, 4 months ago)

Here's a question: What are the sources? $100,000 on top of their salary? Where does that number even come from?

As for the claim that conferences are a vacation where you basically listen to an ad for a drug half the day, and spend the rest of the time golfing, that's nonsense. You go to conferences to listen to people give talks on papers they've published, and have discussions with other people in your field.

My dad, who isn't a medical doctor, but does frequently go to conferences, often complains about what a waste of money they are. One conference he was at recently was held at the Mont Tremblant resort, costing quite a bit of money. He'd hoped to maybe spend a few hours hiking, but was so busy the entire time that he didn't even have a chance to get outdoors.

Occasionally he has used conferences as a chance to take the family for a vacation as well, he'll stay wherever the conference was held for a week or so afterwards to actually take some time off, but during the conferences, he spends the entire day working, leaving early in the morning, and usually not returning until late at night.

Now, I will agree that there are issues with the medical system in the US. I far prefer having the socialized health care we have up here in Canada. The open market allows for various issues with greed to arise, but this is not evidence that drugs are ineffective or harmful.


--------------------
"I have no valid complaint against hustlers. No rational bitch. But the act of selling is repulsive to me. I harbor a secret urge to whack a salesman in the face, crack his teeth and put red bumps around his eyes." -Hunter S Thompson
http://phluck.is-after.us


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OfflinePhluck
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Re: Doctors routinely bribed to push Big Pharma's latest drugs: [Re: zorbman]
    #4437453 - 07/22/05 11:13 AM (11 years, 4 months ago)


How does your doctor decide which medications to prescribe? Is the decision based on the first-hand testimonies of other patients? Is the decision made after a careful and thorough research of medical journals? Usually not. As Michael T. Murray explains in Natural Alternatives to Drugs, your doctor's decision has nothing to do with medicine: "Most physicians do not make decisions about which drug to use on the basis of scientific research or cost. They base their decision almost entirely on which drug is the most popular choice of their colleagues.


What is the basis for this statement? And how do we know this isn't a distortion of the facts? Perhaps the reason that doctors use the most popular drugs is because the more common a drug is, the more is known about it? A doctor is far more likely to feel comfortable prescribing a drug that he knows is commonly used without serious issues than a drug that hasn't established itself.


--------------------
"I have no valid complaint against hustlers. No rational bitch. But the act of selling is repulsive to me. I harbor a secret urge to whack a salesman in the face, crack his teeth and put red bumps around his eyes." -Hunter S Thompson
http://phluck.is-after.us


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Invisiblezorbman
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Re: Doctors routinely bribed to push Big Pharma's latest drugs: [Re: Phluck]
    #4437475 - 07/22/05 11:24 AM (11 years, 4 months ago)

You would have to ask the author of the article about the $100,000 claim. I was wondering about that myself. The contact email was listed as questions59@newstarget.com <questions59@newstarget.com> if you would like to follow up on that.

As for the purpose of conferences, yes ostensibly one goes there to listen to lectures and network, but human nature being what it is things sometimes work out quite differently. Your Dad strikes me as a responsible person so he obviously takes it very seriously. That doesn't mean most attendees do the same. Most professional conferences are not like school where attendance is required. When faced with the choice of attending a boring lecture or playing a few rounds of gold followed by cocktails your average person would probably tend towards the latter.

Personally, I'm much more concerned with other forms of influence from the drug companies upon doctors to prescribe certain medications.


--------------------
“The crisis takes a much longer time coming than you think, and then it happens much faster than you would have thought.”  -- Rudiger Dornbusch


Edited by zorbman (07/22/05 11:58 AM)


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Invisiblemoog
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Registered: 02/15/05
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Re: Doctors routinely bribed to push Big Pharma's latest drugs: [Re: zorbman]
    #4438518 - 07/22/05 04:33 PM (11 years, 4 months ago)

My parents taught me not to trust salesmen, including doctors.


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OfflinePhluck
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Re: Doctors routinely bribed to push Big Pharma's latest drugs: [Re: zorbman]
    #4438659 - 07/22/05 05:04 PM (11 years, 4 months ago)

When faced with the choice of attending a boring lecture or playing a few rounds of gold followed by cocktails your average person would probably tend towards the latter.

Conferences don't pay for plane tickets, generally those will come out of your own grant money. If someone wants to go on a vacation, they could just as easily do that themselves. Most conferences don't even happen in exotic locations, the majority of them take place in hotels in rather bland locations like say, Pittsburgh. The Mont Tremblant one was probably the closest thing I can think of to being in any kind of exotic location. I don't think my dad has ever gone to a beachfront resort or anything like that for a conference, and he goes to quite a few of them. If someone wastes their time at conferences going out and having fun, it doesn't really sound like they're taking their jobs seriously enough to be successful.

It may come as a suprise to a lot of people, but being a scientist is quite a lot of work, and the pay isn't anything spectacular. You'll probably make more than a high school teacher, but you're only going to get a small fraction of what an MD makes. The closest things to bribes that scientists get from drug companies are pens, t-shirts, and low quality tote-bags.

Just what ARE these other forms of influence, and how do they work? And what is the reality? Are these normal practices that the majority of doctors are involved in, or are they isolated incidents?

Also, your source seems to primarily be newstarget.com, which quite obviously has its own agenda; promoting alternative medicine.


--------------------
"I have no valid complaint against hustlers. No rational bitch. But the act of selling is repulsive to me. I harbor a secret urge to whack a salesman in the face, crack his teeth and put red bumps around his eyes." -Hunter S Thompson
http://phluck.is-after.us


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