Thursday, November 3, 2011

Drug Manufacturers and your doctor

Your doctor is the go-to person when it comes to your health and well-being. They suggest the best medicine or procedure, and you rely on them to make the best recommendations.

But how do you know their knowledge about certain products isn’t being influenced by drug companies?

The makers of the drug, product or procedure may be paying your doctor to consult on marketing plans or to deliver promotional talks.

Currently, doctors don’t have to tell you whether or not they are being paid to promote certain products they are recommending to you.

After being pressured by Congress, however, several companies have started to reveal names of doctors they’ve paid for marketing purposes.

In 2013, every single drug and device company in the United States will have to reveal if they have ever paid a doctor for anything regarding marketing, even if it was just a dinner.

But since most companies will not release information regarding paying doctors until they absolutely have to in 2013, the only thing you, the patient, can do now is directly asking your doctor yourself.

Before you enter the exam room, know this: Doctors that have been paid to market certain products are usually recommending the most expensive ones.

Until the public will have access to information regarding doctors and their financial marketing, be cautious and ask questions. Ask your doctor if there is any type of generic brand you can use instead, or something over-the-counter.

Ask you doctor if he or she is getting any incentive from the manufacturer of the drug being recommended.

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