I could have told people this.
Courtesy of Vice:
All pharmaceutical marketers had to do was show up at a doctor’s office and promise a meal or cash for a speaking engagement. The more they did that, the more opioid painkillers the doctors prescribed — and the more people died of drug overdoses, according to a new study.
By cross-referencing a cache of county-level, publicly available interactions between drug marketers and physicians with mortality and prescription data, researchers at Boston Medical Center’s Grayken Center for Addiction and New York University School of Medicine discovered that more marketing visits were associated with an increase in overdose mortality one year later. The researchers examined 434,754 payments from Aug. 1, 2014, to Dec. 31, 2015.
“Our findings suggest that direct-to-physician opioid marketing may counter current national efforts to reduce the number of opioids prescribed and that policymakers might consider limits on these activities as part of a robust, evidence-based response to the opioid overdose epidemic in the United States,” researchers wrote in the first-of-its-kind analysis, published Friday in the journal JAMA Network Open.
Researchers in the study cautioned that drugmakers may have marketed more in areas with already-high opioid prescription rates, which could partially explain the increased mortality rates in those areas. Still, it’s “potentially concerning that physicians in such counties would receive further marketing for opioids,” according to the researchers.
I have actually seen this happen in person since my job requires that I spend a lot of time taking clients to see doctors.
And if you are ever in a doctor’s office look around and try to find a pen or coffeed cup that does not advertise one prescription medication or another.
The reps offer golf trips, speaking engagements, seminars, and tons of swag in order to convince doctors to prescribe their products. and they do.
Combine that with all of the ridiculous pharmaceutical advertisements that flood our living rooms courtesy of our big screen TVs and it is almost a wonder that we are ALL not hooked on one opioid or another.
The only wall that will help fight these addictions are walls built around doctor’s offices that keep unscrupulous drug reps from targeting them.