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Big Pharma spends $ 20 billion a year smuggling docs and $ 6 billion on drug advertising



  Big Pharma Spends $ 20 Billion Each Year to Infuse Docs and $ 6 Billion for Drug Advertising.

Talk to your doctor . Allegedly, it seems to be a responsible proposal. When talking to your trusted doctor, you can determine if a new medication is really for you or if you have an undiagnosed condition. You should not just take the word of the drug company behind this ad or education campaign, of course .

But the suggestion to consult with your doctor may not be as innocent as it seems. The drug company probably first found your doctor.

Out of the nearly $ 30 billion health care companies spend on medical marketing today, about 68 percent (or about $ 20 billion) of the credibility of doctors and other healthcare professionals ̵

1; not consumers – goes beyond the benefits of prescription drugs. This corresponds to an in-depth analysis published this week in JAMA . The study has failed exactly as health companies have convinced us to spend huge sums on our care between 1997 and 2016. During this time, health companies went from $ 17.7 billion to $ 29.9 billion for medical marketing. Meanwhile, US health spending in 2016 reached $ 3.3 trillion or 17.8 percent of GDP.

However, the finding that pharmaceutical companies spend most of their marketing work on charming doctors is not surprising. In 1997, 88 percent ($ 15.6 billion out of a total of $ 17.7 billion) of medical marketing went to vexing doctors, the analysis said. And the way pharmaceutical companies court doctors has not changed much. They essentially do this by sending sales representatives to the doctor's office for personal visits, providing free drug samples and other loot, making payments for speeches, food and drink, travel and "training" illnesses.

What's new – and why this is now a shady situation – is the explosion of direct-to-consumer marketing (DTC), which blends with these efforts for a double-page marketing punch. DTC advertising has more than quadrupled in the timeframe of analysis. The money spent on DTC – mainly television advertising and glossy magazine ads – rose from $ 2.1 billion in 1997 to $ 9.6 billion in 2016. Of this $ 9.6 billion, approximately $ 6 billion was more prescriptive for commercialization Drugs determined.

This boom in DTC displays "increases the need for clinicians to help patients understand product claims, medical needs, costs, and non-medical alternatives," said Selena Ortiz of Health Policy, Pennsylvania State University, and Harvard's Meredith Rosenthal , In an accompanying editorial in JAMA the couple noted that this increased dependence on physicians may be associated with traps, as doctors found, as earlier studies found, to be falsified by marketing and misled. This "indicates that professionals may need to be trained or assisted to be a referee for fraudulent marketing," they write.

Ultimately, "trust in doctors and health care facilities may be at risk if medical marketing continues to grow unchecked." They conclude.

Punchy Marketing

The authors of the analysis – Lisa Schwartz and Steven Woloshin, health care professionals in Dartmouth – point out that some advertisements have a particular focus on the practice of finding physicians. These features help consumers find prescription physicians. This approach has raised ethical issues by creating a conflict of interest as to whether or not prescribing medicines serve patients or businesses, "they write. As examples, they refer to the websites of the weight loss drug Contrave and the hypoactive sex drug addiction Addyi, which aim to schedule telemedicine visits to "complete your doctor's consultation of the privacy of your own home". 19659003] Even without such clear links between physicians and companies, DTC marketing and education campaigns have obvious implications for patients and prescribing practices, notes Schwartz and Woloshin. A 2005 study found that patients were more than twice as likely to receive prescriptions for an antidepressant or disordered adjustment drug when they just told their doctor, "I saw this television program about depression and wondered if it was a medicine could help me "as if they did not say that (76% versus 31%)."

In addition, the authors point out that concerted marketing campaigns are even more powerful and the devastating opioid epidemic that is now raging across the country is a good thing example. In the 1990s, when drug agents misled medical professionals about the abuse potential of Oxycontin and promoted the off-label use of the potent painkiller, drug maker Purdue Pharma launched aggressive education and pain education programs on opioid treatments for chronic non-cancer pain patients. Between 2000 and 2015, opioid prescriptions and overdose deaths quadrupled. Today, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention assume that about 46 people die daily from prescription opioid overdoses.

With clear risk, Schwartz and Woloshin examined the regulatory activities of the Food and Drug Administration and the Federal Trade Commission and the State Advocates General. They found a smooth response to rapid medical marketing across the board. In fact, the FDA's Prescription Medicines Office, which regulates consumer and professional promotional material, has actually seen a decline in regulatory activity. Although opinions increased from 34,182 in 1997 to 97,252 in 2016, letters from breaches in those years dropped from 156 to 11. The authors conclude "the possibility of lesser oversights," the authors conclude, possibly because FDA reviewers "Could be overwhelmed by the massive increase in advertising submissions".

Overall, Schwartz and Woloshin state that "despite the increasing marketing is over 20 years, regulatory oversight is limited.

JAMA 2018. DOI: 10.1001 / jama.2018.19320 (About DOIs).


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