Study: 37% of Physicians Give in to Patients' Demands for Brand-Name DrugsThirty-seven percent of physicians sometimes or often give in to patients' demands for brand-name drugs when equivalent generic drugs are available, according to a study in JAMA Internal Medicine, formerly Archives of Internal Medicine.
Researchers studied physicians' prescribing decisions using data from 1,891 physicians in seven specialties who responded to a national survey. Overall, 37 percent of physicians sometimes or often gave in to patients' requests for brand-name drugs. Among physicians in practice for more than 10 years, this percent rose to 43 percent, compared with 31 percent of physicians in practice for 10 years or less.
The study identified several factors associated with capitulation to patients' request for brand-name drugs:
• Pediatricians, anesthesiologists, cardiologists and general surgeons were significantly less likely to give in than were internal medicine physicians.
• Physicians in solo or two-person practices were more likely to give in than were those working in a hospital or medical school setting, with rates of 46 percent and 35 percent, respectively.
• Thirty-nine percent of physicians who received free food and/or beverages in the workplace from drug companies (industry) yielded to patients' demands for brand-name drugs compared with 33 percent who did not receive these items.
• Forty percent of physicians who received drug samples from companies gave in compared with 31 percent of those who did not receive samples.
• Forty-percent of physicians who often met with industry representatives to stay up-to-date gave in compared with 34 percent of physicians who did not meet with representatives.
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