(2 pm. – promoted by ek hornbeck)
John Oliver opened the second season of HBO’s “This Week Tonight” with a humorous but sobering segment on how big pharmaceutical companies market their drugs to doctors, spending an estimated $24 billion per year in direct marketing. In his witty but serious way, he explains that 70% of Americans take at least one prescription drug, and spent $329 billion, $1000 per person, on those medications in 2013. John quipped, “Walter White could have made more money cooking up rheumatoid arthritis medication.”
Big Pharma tactics include everything from lunch, to sexy sales reps to expensive dinners with other doctors who pitch the sale as “thought leaders.” The drugs are often pushed for “off label” use, that is, use that the FDA has not approved and most of the reps know very little, if anything, about the drugs that they’re pushing.
Drug companies are like high school boyfriends, they’re more interested in getting inside you than in being effective once they are there.
One a the good things that the Affordable Care Act did is it created a web site, OpenPaymentsData.CMS.gov that which enables average citizens a chance to search for perks given to doctors by pharmaceutical companies.