Do doctors who get more pharma $$ prescribe more brand-name drugs? You bet they do

The more money doctors get from pharma, the more brand-name drugs they tend to prescribe…

A ProPublica analysis has found for the first time that doctors who receive payments from the medical industry do indeed tend to prescribe drugs differently than their colleagues who don’t. And the more money they receive, on average, the more brand-name medications they prescribe.

ProPublica matched records on payments from pharmaceutical and medical device makers in 2014 with corresponding data on doctors’ medication choices in Medicare’s prescription drug program.

Matching Industry Payments to Medicare Prescribing Patterns: An Analysis, static.propublica, March 2016.

Doctors who got money from drug and device makers—even just a meal– prescribed a higher percentage of brand-name drugs overall than doctors who didn’t, our analysis showed. Indeed, doctors who received industry payments were two to three times as likely to prescribe brand-name drugs at exceptionally high rates as others in their specialty.

Doctors who received more than $5,000 from companies in 2014 typically had the highest brand-name prescribing percentages. Among internists who received no payments, for example, the average brand-name prescribing rate was about 20 percent, compared to about 30 percent for those who received more than $5,000.

Continue reading Now There’s Proof: Docs Who Get Company Cash Tend to Prescribe More Brand-Name Meds, by Charles Ornstein, Ryann Grochowski Jones and Mike Tigas, on ProPublica, March 17, 2016.

Read Dollars for Docs ; How Industry Dollars Reach Your Doctors, projects.propublica, Updated March 17, 2016.

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