A recent ProPublica analysis has discovered that doctors who receive money from pharmaceutical companies tend to prescribe different drugs to their patients than their colleagues who do not get payments.
It was also found that the more money these doctors receive, on average, the more brand-name medications they prescribe to their patients.
ProPublica's analyzed records of drug and device makers' payments and matched them with doctors' medication choice data and found that a higher percentage of brand-name drugs were prescribed by doctors who received more money.
Although this analysis does show that payments relate to an approach to prescribing that ultimately benefits the bottom line for drug companies, it does not prove that doctors are swayed to prescribe a particular company's drugs based on these payments.
"It again confirms the prevailing wisdom ... that there is a relationship between payments and brand-name prescribing," stated Dr. Aaron Kesselheim, an associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School.
Many studies have shown that generic drugs work just as well as brand-name medications for most patients. These generics must also go through a rigorous FDA process in order to be approved, which further ensures their safety and effectiveness.
Find out if your doctor is accepting payments from pharmaceutical and medical device companies here.
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