When you go to the doctor, you expect to have your interests put first. Out of all the drugs and treatment options, you trust that your doctor is going to use whatever works best for you. Unfortunately, as more and more people are discovering, that may not be the case. How would you feel to know that your doctors are receiving gifts from pharmaceutical companies to push the drugs they want you to use?

95% of Doctors Receive Gifts From Reps

If a pharmaceutical company paid a doctor a fee to prescribe their drugs, that would be bribery. That sort of behavior would result in legal action, and could get the doctor’s license to practice medicine taken away. However, pharmaceutical companies often give physicians gifts, which is not the same thing as just giving them money according to the law. Whether it’s catering lunches, paying travel fees, or just dropping off free pens and pads of paper, there are a thousand ways big and small that pharmaceutical companies try to influence doctors who can prescribe their products.

This isn’t just idle conjecture, either. According to research, the types of contact doctors have with pharmaceutical representatives, and the doctor’s perception of those reps, has an impact on their prescribing habits. The more positively a doctor regards a company, the more likely he or she is to sign off on his or her patients using their drugs. Pharmaceutical companies know that, and it’s the reason they try to influence as many doctors as they can, while pretending that they aren’t.

Patient Disapproval

Patients, when they find out that their doctors are receiving special treatment from pharmaceutical companies, are understandably suspicious. After all, pharmaceutical companies want as many people as possible to use their products. The more popular their drugs are, the more money they make, and the happier their investors and shareholders are. But that desire to see as many people as possible using their drugs often butts heads with patients’ desires to use medicine that is effective, and, more importantly, that will actually help them deal with their conditions.

That isn’t just spitballing, either. According to Recovery Brands, former pharmaceutical reps have blown the whistle on their companies, exposing the shady (and sometimes outright illegal) practices that drug companies have used to get in good with as many doctors as they can. Everything from elaborate gifts and rewards programs that danced around the edges of outright bribery, to psychologically profiling doctors to be sure the reps knew just what they wanted to hear, was fair game as far as the money men were concerned.

Get The Best Prices on Your Prescription Drugs

Thanks to the power of technology, patients have options when it comes to filling their prescriptions. All someone has to do is go to searchRx.com and they’ll have a world of price comparison right at their fingertips. Just type in the prescription you need, and look at the options you have to choose from.

We should all trust our doctors, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t shop around when it comes to our drug prices.