Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Buy our doctor a burger

About three months ago, a news article published by ProPublica reported how doctors who receive payments from the medical industry do indeed tend to prescribe drugs differently than their colleagues who don’t.  And the more money they receive, on average, the more brand-name medications they prescribe.

ProPublica describes itself as an independent, nonprofit newsroom that produces investigative journalism in the public interest.

Now, a recent article published last week by the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) reported the results of a recent research study that aligns with what ProPublica previously reported. 

This JAMA-published study concluded that medical doctors who were “wined and dined” by a pharmaceutical industry company ended up subsequently prescribing a higher proportion of that company’s drugs than their peers who were not wined and dined.

Apparently, the more meals they received, the greater share of those drugs they tended to prescribe compared to other prescription drugs in the same category.

JAMA is a peer-reviewed medical journal published by the American Medical Association, the largest association of physicians and medical students in the United States.

So the ProPublica finding busts the doctor with his hand in the cookie jar while his big-brother named JAMA confirms that his little brother did it. 

Well for us middle-aged men trying to get quality medical care, we may sometimes walk away frustrated from a doctor’s office visit. 

Perhaps there’s some innovative and outside-the-box medicine that we want our doctor to give us but with his hands tied by health insurance-driven constraints, we’re sent our merry way with less-than-prime-time medical care and perhaps a generic prescription to help alleviate the pain. 

Or perhaps there's a new medical procedure we learn of that seems perfect for us based on our independent and responsible research; but our dear doctors says no because he may not personally know about it.    

Maybe we need to take a lesson from them rascals at the pharmaceutical industry. 

Maybe we need to buy our doctor a burger.

Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum

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