Tuesday, March 14, 2006
"Unselling" of Generic Drugs to Physicians
So a somewhat disturbing article in the Wall Street Journal on 13 March 2005 about how Pennsylvania is trying to reduce its exploding drug costs for state employees by having "unsellers" visit doctors to pitch generic drugs reminds us that some information exchanges may not be completely trustworthy and automatable. Drug firms have long used people called "detailers" to pitch free samples to doctors, and this article reports how seriously the drug companies track each doctor's prescription habits by mining transaction data from pharmacies. These detailers are very effective at getting doctors to prescribe proprietary and hence more profitable drugs. Pennsylvania is now fighting back using the same techniques against the drug companies.
I am currently taking a medication and while on the name brand did great. Then I switched to generic and I am experiencing some negative side effects. I'm going to switch back to brand to see if I feel better.
Other people have shared the same story with me as well.
Like I said, I was naive enough to think that physicians got their information from objective sources. But what would be an objective source, anyway?
family urgent care