Pharmaceutical companies are dependent on physicians who believe in drugs.
Their science is indisputable, the logic and mechanism of action, flawless.
Pharmaceutical companies use this science as weapons in their therapeutic drug wars as to whose drugs is more effective,
This is demonstrated in the battle of statins, the miracle cholesterol-lowering drugs. Each company recommends and manufactures mega-doses of these drugs in order to win the drug studies sweepstakes they participate in.
Physicians are trained to order tests and treat their results. They are economically squeezed by a managed care system that puts profits before people. Doctors are forced to respond by increasing efficiency. Good efficiency translates into less time per patient. Hence the need for standardized treatment and impersonal relations.
Managed care companies also encourage doctors to prescribe generic drugs and lowers the co-pay amount that patients must pay. This all in an attempt to encourage generic drug use. There is big incentive for managed care companies to want to pay for generic versions. This is not always in the patients best interests.
The marketing arm of drug companies has responded by targeting patients as if they were the consumers of tissue paper. If the purpose for the regulation of drugs was to prevent consumers from making diagnosis and treatment decisions, why are so many advertisements targeted to them?
One of the most marketed therapies to both physicians and consumers is pain relief or analgesia. Painkillers are the most commonly prescribed drug in America. I frequently prescribed them, even when I didn’t anticipate any. Patients expect it and they make you feel good. As an athlete I prefer not to need them and use them only when their is no choice (once in ten years). As a practioner, I prescribed them frequently. Patients didn’t complain because they worked.
Drugs make treatment more predictable.
The Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act of 2003 was, depending on ones perspective, either a gift to seniors and soon to be seniors (baby-boomers) or a betrayal of our children.
In either case, this law created a windfall for the pharmaceutical and insurance industries, by providing a new entitlement, prescription drugs, to a generation already addicted to meds.
The point man for this deal was rep Billy Tauzin, Republican from Louisiana who co-sponsored the bill. Soon after its passage, Billy Tauzin resigned his position as chairman of the House committee that regulates the pharmaceutical industry and became CEO of the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA), the drug industry's top lobbying group, at a salary of $2 Million per year.
PhRMA is the main component of PIG. Together with insurance companies and regulators from the FDA, the USDA and the USP, they make the policy for healthcare or as I have termed it, PIMPcare.
In addition to Mr. Tauzin, 14 other congressional staffers quit their jobs in Congress and moved onto the more lucrative field of PIMPcare.
It wasn’t just the drug companies that benefited from this entitlement, but insurance companies were given a bigger piece of the Medicare pie. Congress based its action on the creation of a more competitive fee structure for reimbursement. Fat chance of that happening.