Doctors Prescribe More of a Drug If They Receive Money from a Pharma Company

Doctors Prescribe More of a Drug If They Receive Money from a Pharma Company

Doctors Prescribe More of a Drug If They Receive Money from a Pharma Company

Pharmaceutical companies have paid doctors billions of dollars for consulting, promotional talks,
meals and more. a replacement ProPublica analysis finds doctors who received payments linked to
specific drugs prescribed more of these drugs.

Doctors who receive money from drugmakers regarding a selected drug prescribe that drug more heavily than doctors without such financial ties, a replacement ProPublica analysis found. The pattern is consistent for nearly all of the foremost widely prescribed brand-name drugs in Medicare, including drugs that treat diabetes, asthma and more.

The financial interactions include payments for delivering promotional talks, consulting and receiving sponsored meals and travel.

The 50 drugs in our analysis include many popular and expensive ones. Thirty-eight of the drugs have yearly costs exceeding $1,000 per patient, and lots of topped the list that are most expensive for the Medicare Part D drug program.

Take Linzess, a drug to treat irritable bowel syndrome and severe constipation. From 2014 to 2018, the drug’s makers, Allergan and Ironwood, spent nearly $29 million on payments to doctors regarding Linzess, mostly for meals and promotional speaking fees.

ProPublica’s analysis found that doctors who received payments regarding Linzess in 2016 wrote 45% more prescriptions for the drug, on the average, than doctors who received no payments.

Those findings were repeated for drug after drug. In

2016, doctors who received payments regarding Myrbetriq, which treats overactive bladder, wrote 64%

more prescriptions for the drug than those that didn't. For Restasis, wont to treat chronic dry eye, doctors who received payments wrote 141% more prescriptions. The pattern holds true for 46 of the 50 drugs.

On average, across all drugs, providers who received payments specifically tied to a drug prescribed it 58% quite providers who didn't receive payments.

Other research, including our own, has found a correlation between payments and overall prescribing. This new analysis expands upon past work by looking individually at a spread of popular drugs. “What clearly jumps out is how

consistent the association is across drugs,” said Aaron Mitchell, a medical oncologist at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center who has studied pharmaceutical payments for oncology drugs.

Our analysis checked out the connection in two ways: whether those that received payments prescribed more of a drug, also as whether those that prescribed a drug received higher payments than those that didn't. We found that, on the average, physicians who prescribed a drug received higher payments regarding the drug that very same year than those that didn’t prescribe it. For Linzess, the worth of payments was quite fourfold higher for providers who prescribed the drug than among those that didn't. For Myrbetriq, it had been 3 times higher, and for Restasis, it had been twice the maximum amount. (Read our methodology for more about the analysis.)

Holly Campbell, a spokeswoman for the Pharmaceutical Research and makers of America, an industry trade group, said it stands to reason that doctors who have interactions with a corporation a few drug may prescribe more of it “because they need more information about the acceptable uses for the products.”

Through spokespeople, Allergan (maker of Linzess also as Alphagan P, Bystolic, Combigan, Lumigan, Namenda and Restasis), Janssen (maker of Invega, Invokana, Xarelto and Zytiga) and Novo Nordisk (maker of Levemir, Novolog and Victoza) described their interactions with physicians as important for sharing medical information.