Doctors listen to the drug companies – and not the drug regulators – when it comes to prescribing pharmaceuticals that have been classified as dangerous. Most doctors continue to prescribe the drugs because the drug salesmen haven’t told them to stop, a new survey has discovered.
The doctors’ dependency on the drug company salesmen who visit the surgery was highlighted by the survey, which discovered that even the drugs given a ‘black box’ warning – the final act before a drug is removed from the market because of safety issues – were still being prescribed.
The ‘black box’ warnings, which are issued by America’s drug regulator, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), were ignored by the doctors who were visited less frequently by the salesmen, and so carried on prescribing them. Only the doctors who had frequent visits were aware of the drugs’ dangers, and had moved on to safer alternatives.
In other words, the main source of information for doctors remains the drug companies – and not the professional bodies.
(Source: Journal of Clinical Hypertension, 2012; doi: 10.1111/j.1751-7176.2012.00651.x)