Americans want to know whether their doctors are pocketing payments or accepting gifts from drug companies, but they don't necessarily want to come right out and ask them, a new poll finds.
More than half of the people responding to a national survey by the Boston-based Prescription Project thought it was important to know about their doctorsí relationships with drug companies, but only about a third said they would ask their own physicians about it. The Prescription Project is a conflict-of-interest watchdog group funded by The Pew Charitable Trusts.
Half of Americans think doctors are influenced by pharmaceutical companies when they pull out the prescription pad (or PDA) and two-thirds would back laws requiring drug makers to make public the payments or gifts they give to doctors, the survey said.
More than two-thirds also said they would favor legislation to support sending academic experts out to doctors' offices to offer information on new drugs. These counter-detailers would balance the message from drug company sales reps, called detailers, the thinking goes.
Massachusetts is considering a ban on gifts to doctors from the drug and medical device industries.
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|White Coat Notes covers the latest from the health care industry, hospitals, doctors offices, labs, insurers, and the corridors of government. Chelsea Conaboy previously covered health care for The Philadelphia Inquirer. Write her at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter: @cconaboy.|
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