Pharma has little influence in writing Rx’s

screenshot_86KEY TAKEAWAY: While the media would have us believe that doctors are writing Rx’s for products promoted by pharma companies’ research clearly shows that its insurers that determine which drugs patients actually receive.

If you are one of the patients who is influenced by DTC advertising and asks your doctor for a specific product there is a good chance you may not get it unless your insurer feels it’s right for you and you have tried other, less expensive, treatments.


Let’s also be realistic about pharma payments to doctors.  Pharma companies use doctors in peer-to-peer marketing and as thus these doctors are entitled to be compensated for their time.  The idea that a doctor is going to prescribe drugs based on what a pharma company pays him/her is myopic.


The biggest reason for prescribing a certain medication is a safety and real-world evidence.  Sure, there are some drugs like Cialis, or Restasis which physicians may write because they don’t think there is a problem with these drugs, but just try and get an Rx for Crestor without first trying generic statins.

The recent data of “payments to doctors” indicates that the top companies paying doctors are not pharma companies but medical device companies. In fact, they make up more than 65% of payments to doctors in the top 10 list.  That should a major concern for patients who are getting hip and knee replacements at record levels.

[inlinetweet prefix=”” tweeter=”” suffix=””]Pharma has a trust problem and that extends to HCP’s as well.[/inlinetweet] A number of newly approved drugs have been slow to get prescribed because doctors want more evidence they work and insurers want to ensure they work better than generics, which account for over 80% of all Rx drugs on the market.