Drug makers can no longer bribe doctors!

You probably know that drug companies try to bribe doctors to prescribe their medicines. Well, no more of that. Those who police these things have ruled that drug reps (the guys and gals who drop by your doctor’s office with their bribes) can no longer give your doctor pens. This may not seem like a big deal to you, but the influence these drug reps have over your doctor (especially if they’re cute) has become a national scandal.

As a psychiatrist, I know whereof I speak. There was a time, years ago, when I thought it was cool to use expensive pens. How times have changed. Like you, believe it or not, my income is now less than it was when Reagan/Bush/Cheney/McCain took hold of the economy in 2000. I have also lost so many expensive pens I had to write my bottom line with the only one I had left, a red one. What was I to do? I gave in to temptation and started accepting cheap, made in China, pens from those drug reps. They saved my practice, and I suppose my prescribing practices were swayed by them.

I’m sure the drug reps will still come around, but without their pens. I’ll have to find another way to make a profit, and they’ll have to find another way to influence me. Rest assured, though, I am as strong as any Washington law maker. I can not be bought. Send over a lobbyist with a few million and I’ll prove it.

Seriously, though, the influence drug companies have over your doctor is greater than you can imagine. After Reagan/Bush/Cheney/McCain started cutting taxes and downsizing government, the cut of our national wealth going to such irrelevent places as medical schools dropped drastically. It takes the big bucks, though, to study drugs, so the big pharmaceutical companies volunteered to do the job. That wouldn’t cost us taxpayers a penny. Not only that, they volunteered to pick up the slack of lost government income by funding the FDA.

Not to be outdone, the health insurance companies stepped in on your behalf. It isn’t right, they reasoned, for your doctor to prescribe a medication willy-nilly. They will protect your health by only paying for drugs which have been approved by the FDA to treat your ailment.

The situation now is this: A drug company has a drug, call it Fundomycin, and they think it could cure a disease, call it Moreprofitosis. They spend money to study it and, low and behold, it works. Now they take their evidence to the FDA (wink, wink) and get Fundomycin approved to treat Moreprofitosis.You, very ill with this dread disease, go to your doctor. He claims there is a cheap medication he could prescribe for you. Lots of doctors prescribe it for Moreprofitosis, and it works. Its maker didn’t ask the FDA to approve it for that use, so your insurance company won’t pay for it. It will pay for Fundomycin, so that’s what your doctor prescribes.

With a pen he bought at Staples. No influencing him, by golly.

Oh, by the way, now that Fundomycin has been widely prescribed, some “adverse events” are starting to show up. Don’t worry, though, the only patients who died were really sick to start with (not like the people they used for that first study, or, hopefully, you).

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2 Responses to “Drug makers can no longer bribe doctors!”

  1. Politics Says:

    Sometimes the drugs are too expensive and insurance companies won pay for them. Politics

  2. Pat Says:

    Well, the only advantage of not allowing the doctors to be bribed by pen toting drug reps, is that the prices of drug rep pens will significantly increase on eBay. Glad I have a box of drug rep pens, mugs, tape dispensors and so forth.

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