Even Cheap Meals Influence Doctors’ Drug Prescriptions, Study Suggests

Ask your doctor if he’s ever gotten a free meal or other benefits from the pharma company that makes the medicine that he or she prescribes to you:

Findings published by JAMA Internal Medicine suggest that even a single free meal can boost the likelihood a doctor will prescribe a certain drug

Drug-sales representatives routinely bring free food and beverages to doctors’ offices in an effort to get face time to promote their medicines. They also invite doctors to free dinners at restaurants to hear other doctors speak about certain drugs.

The industry says the practice helps to educate doctors about the appropriate use of new medicines. Critics say it can improperly influence medical decisions and inflate drug costs.

The full research paper is here:

Pharmaceutical Industry–Sponsored Meals and Physician Prescribing Patterns for Medicare Beneficiaries


That’s pretty outrageous if it’s true.


Oh - I’m sure its true. The concept of “reciprocity” is well established in human relationships - you do something for me, its pretty hard not to do something for the other person…


9th grade western humanities

The Greeks did it :slight_smile:

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It’s not right… But I’m personally more concerned with the comparative studies that show how some new drug performs versus some well-established one. Such studies are rarely independent. And where would both we and our doctors get our information on meds from…? With AP’s it remains a bit of a trial and error game anyway - it’s not as if a doctor will prescribe you an AP he knows is not going to work.

I’m absolutely sure my second pdoc was getting something out of prescribing Invega. Turned out to be a good med for me, but the way she talked about it it was too good to be true. I remained a skeptic for a long time, because for the first months it didn’t actually work. Neither did the haldol or the zyprexa. I was just about to forfit and decide to be crazy all my life when it started fading.

Anyway, some do of course gain something out of prescribing them. Free pens and post it pads also :smile:


I used to see a lot of doctors using pens with drug names on them but I don’t see it at all anymore.

I might ask my psychiatrist when I see him next whether drug companies contact doctors to market their goods here in Australia.

The manufacturer of Viagra gave a local psychiatrist a $300 voucher to a nearby restaurant. So he took his staff out to lunch and had them order anything they wanted off the menu . . .

My psychiatrist sees Drug Reps all of the time.

I don’t think that it influences her prescribing decisions fully, but I do think that these reps influence her to a degree.

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What I think happened in America is that a few drug companies raised their prices because they were being given class action lawsuits and all the other companies used the resulting price of their brand name drugs as the standard for pricing theirs. Either that or maybe all of them got sued. Anyway it’s a lucrative business and getting the doctor to prescribe the new pills is a top priority for them. I also think that in order for there to be a cure for schizophrenia they will have to make the price of a vaccine sky high and given to everyone because otherwise the drug companies lose out.

Probably not a good idea to comment right now:pouting_cat:**

I kinda’ got the impression my pdoc was pushing Latuda to us people at the assisted living center when he recommended it to me, but when I said I wanted to go back to my old drugs he readily agreed. I think certain drugs being en vogue also influences pdoc’s.