Big Pharma Infographic

published by hiro.kusumoto

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The Influence of Big Pharma on Doctors
Though it may be common knowledge that Big Pharma has deep pockets, the measures they use to bias doctors towards prescribing their medication may not be as well known. This infographic is intended to raise awareness about the underhanded tactics the industry uses to sway doctors into making prescribing decisions that benefit drug firms over patients.
Presently, DTC or direct to consumer advertising is virtually inescapable. Commercials urging viewers to ask their doctor about a new disease are ubiquitous. However, Big Pharma actually dedicates most of its promotional budget to pharmaceutical detailing (marketing to doctors) through various techniques such as providing physicians with lunches, drug samples, stationary, and more. The data to the right was adopted from a Cegedim Strategic Data Audit.
Marketing Expenditures
Data reported by Cutting Edge Information
Avg=$285 (with samples)
Avg=$210 (with samples)
Primary Care Physician
What's the cost of a typical sales call by a drug rep?
Average Sales Call Costs by Branch of Medicine
Based on a 2007 Pharma Marketing News poll of industry employees (N=271)
The cost of a sales call for a primary care physician ranges from $50-500. The spending depends on the cost of the samples given to doctors and whether or not the PSR regularly brings other gifts to the office
Quick Facts
Some doctors receive exorbitant fees for public speaking engagements aimed at advertising to otherdoctors
Pharmaceutical companies sometimes give thousands ofdollars worth of food and beverage to single practices
Drug firms often distort or withhold certain data from clinical trials to make their drugs seem more effective than they really are
Some doctors receive exorbitant fees for public speaking engagements aimed at advertising to otherdoctors
Source: Canadian Pharmaceutical Marketing / April 2009
According to a 2009 issue of the journal "Academic Medicine,"  85% of physicians report having a relationship with a pharmaceutical representative. Most of these relationships were reported to be positive. Many doctors see drug reps for information about medications. The table on the left shows a comparison of the relative ease of physician access drug reps experience in Canada vs. the U.S.
Do Promotions Work?
Chew et al. (2000) administered a survey to 154 GPs and family physicians. The survey asked for, "self-reported prescribing patterns for 3 clinical scenarios, including their preferred drug choice, whether they would use a drug sample and subsequently prescribe the sampled medication, and the importance of factors involved in the decision to dispense a drug sample." (N=131) The chart to the right displays sample dispensing patterns for the second scenario: an uninsured man with hypertension. 27% of respondents reported that they would dispense a sample to this patient. Of those physicians, 91% reported that they would dispense this patient a sample as opposed to their drug of choice.
Chew et al. (2000). "General Internal Medicine", 15(7), 478-483.
New Patient Protection Measure
The Affordable Care Act mandates that all substantial (> $10) payments or gifts rendered to physicians or teaching hospitals must be reported to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to be reported on the Open Payments system. These payments can be viewed at Search your doctor on the Open Payments tool today!
Adapted from "Open Payments Data Fact Sheet"