Update: Lunch money Pharma spends on physicians

This post at KevinMD has blown up and is generating significant interest.

Since writing it I was contacted by CNN, they talked about wanting to do a series on America’s addiction to medications and what sounded to me like the various excesses of drug companies to try to get people to take those medications. They wanted me to comment on the various excesses of Pharma from a physician’s perspective. They were interested in hearing about all the things the drug companies give us, specifically,  free stuff, give-aways, trips,  golf outings. . . you get the point. I explained that I had no experience with such things, nor did I know of anybody who had, and probably was not the right person to talk to.  

I feel like in this discussion, we private practice physicians are guppies in a big ocean. The occasional office lunch amounts to essentially (excuse the pun) small potatoes compared to the influence that pharma has had on the opinion makers, and subsequently, in the drafting of practice guidelines (such as recent lipid guidelines or the use of activated protein C in sepsis). In this, the influence is insidious; it exists largely in rooms that are closed to the rest of us. The influence is not nearly as extroverted and obvious as CNN (and the rest of us) would like to see.  However, I agree with many of you that having drug reps bringing lunch into the office at the very least gives the impression of influence, and may not be a practice that we as physicians can defend much longer.  In retrospect, I wished I had agreed to the interview with CNN, only for the sweet irony of my interview being followed by a commercial featuring two elderly people sitting in bathtubs on top of a hill.  .  .

Healthcare Armageddon 3: Washington Argues Over Grandma’s New Shoes.

It started with The House of Representatives’ symbolic gesture of their disdain of all things Obama-care. It continues with the current bickering over fiscal policy in Washington D.C. Thus goes a debate that is destined to lead the country nowhere because it does not deal with the core of the problem. Continue reading “Healthcare Armageddon 3: Washington Argues Over Grandma’s New Shoes.”

Welcome to the New Site!

Welcome to our new site, caduceusblog.com. After several months, of trying to tweak the previous site, I’ve decided to move the blog to a much simpler platform which will  be easier to use, and allow me to spend more time doing what I intended. . . writing!

Besides the new look, this site also features a facebook ‘like’ button which will accompany every article, and a separate comments section that will not link to your facebook page. Let me know what you think in the comments section, and feel free to contact me at deep@caduceusblog.com.