HarryZ wrote:You can imagine how the sales reps for the CRABs as well as Tysabri present their drugs! The FDA has slapped the hands of the drug companies involved for how they falsely promote their medications and in some instances fine them. But if you talk to the drug reps, their response is it's "part of the cost of doing business" or "we just have to up the honorariums" to get the docs to prescribe the product. Not very comforting.
This is a serious issue.
I believe one of the root problems is that patients don't have to pay full price for the drugs, so drug companies can mark up their drugs absurdly so long as physicians and patients believe them to be at least marginally superior to alternatives.
The idea of a middle class individual with MS paying $30,000/year for a drug with a 30% efficacy is laughable, but when an insurance company is picking up the tap, moral hazard takes over.
drug reps are generally well paid aggressive salespersons. If they can convince one neurologist to prescribe copaxone three times over the course of a year, they have justified their salary. It is difficult for doctors to keep up with all of the minutiae of new drugs, and they are not free from bias.
Prior to recent changes in regulations, doctors used to receive outrageous gifts from drug reps which were effectively kick backs/compensation.
Even now, a lot of academic physicians receive very significant compensation for giving talks and marketing drugs/devices to other physicians in the field.