The Pharmaceutical Industry Has Influence in the Doctor's Office, Too

By Rackl, Lorilyn | Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL), September 24, 2001 | Go to article overview

The Pharmaceutical Industry Has Influence in the Doctor's Office, Too


Rackl, Lorilyn, Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL)


Byline: Lorilyn Rackl Daily Herald Health Writer

"Why cook?" asks the invitation from Merck & Co.

Why, indeed. New Orleans physician Dr. Charles Field realized some time ago that there is little need to do that in a city full of great restaurants and drug companies eager to pick up the check.

On a March evening, Field joined more than a dozen doctors for the "Why cook?" event held at a local wine cellar. It allowed doctors likely to prescribe arthritis drugs to order a meal from the establishment's deli and sip wine while they waited for their food to be ready.

In the meantime, they could look over drug-company literature or talk with a Merck representative.

Doctors in town know these events as "dine 'n' dash."

As the drug industry reaches new extremes in its courtship of prescribing doctors, the giveaways are flowing freely. In New Orleans, for example, doctors have been showered with things like Christmas trees, manicures, car washes, bottles of wine - even cash.

Drug companies' powerful reach extends beyond research labs and into the offices of doctors, who are coming under increasing fire for accepting free dinners and gifts from the pharmaceutical industry.

"Research is a little different because there is a role for industry. But it's very hard to justify accepting gifts and dinners from the industry," said Dr. Bob Goodman, a New York internist who started a group called "No Free Lunch." The organization's goal is to get doctors to stop taking freebies from drug companies.

"Physicians will say it doesn't influence their behavior, but the fact is it does," said Goodman, who spoke this month about the physician-pharmaceutical industry relationship at a medical conference in Chicago.

"The pharmaceutical industry spends billions of dollars doing this. You'd figure if it didn't work, they'd be smarter with their money than that," he added. "Plenty of studies show that promotion does in fact influence prescribing behavior."

Food is one of the industry's favorite ways to get doctors' attention. There are the standard doctor dinners, typically an instructive evening with a talk by an out-of-town medical expert.

At the "dash" or "to-go" events, education takes a back seat to convenience, and doctors don't have to endure long lectures just to get a bite to eat.

"We have gone as often as five times in one week," said Field, an internist. "You have to eat somewhere, you know."

Field estimates he's attended 150 to 200 drug-company events in the space of a year.

David Anstice, the Merck official who oversees drug sales in North and South America, says the "Why cook? …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

The Pharmaceutical Industry Has Influence in the Doctor's Office, Too
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.