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Drug Company Advertising

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Hey everyone,


I wanted to get some opinions on what you think the two sides of the argument for drug companies advertising to physicians offices? This isn't for MMI prep, but rather a debate that me and a friend got into.


The points that we could think of were:



Provides awareness of new treatments

Allows use of samples for low-income patients



Changes prescribing habits (sometimes against therapeutics) based on "kick-backs"

Discourages generic use


What do you all think about this?

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A good doctor is someone who can take advantages of the benefits of the free trials that come with the advertising but can still make sound moral decisions in terms of prescribing medication. The issue about drug company advertisements is not in the advertising itself but in the doctors approach to prescribing medication and belief in their treatment. For example if a doctor was being sponsored by Pfizer to promote Viagra I don't see an issue with recommending Viagra so long as they fully disclose the potential to try all other comparable medications such as Cialis.

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Drug advertising, free samples, conferences etc., can create the appearance of a conflict of interest, even if one does not exist, which can reduce the trust a patient has in his/her doctor.


Its up to the doctor to decide whether or not a conflict of interest will develop between him/her and the patients. There is absolutely nothing wrong with getting paid to advertise a particular drug so long as you are openly informing a candidate of all other equivalent medications and that the drug you are being paid to advertise is no more effective (in most cases).

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