How does the publication of and public access to physician payments play a role in the physician/patient relationship?Access the physician payments, especially code-specific reimbursement rates does play a role in the physician/patient relationship. These patients sometimes refuse a medically-advised service due to the cost or have bitter attitudes due to the thought that the physician is living the luxurious life. In reality, doctors are paid for their expertise, and while their pay may be elevated compared to other professions, they are not usually setting the prices. Physicians should procure their relationships with their patients by fully disclosing payment practices. This is a trend that is increasing in medicine. Fulling disclosing the cost of a service allows the patient to make better informed decisions and puts the control in the hands of the patient. Some disclosures are made specifically by doctors, but often a billing specialist or the like will discuss these matters with patients because of their knowledge-base.
Discuss the role of social media in the marketing of pharmaceutical products?
Social media has been lacking in the marketing of pharmaceutical products. This is because of a lack of federal guidelines and a fear of creating an open-forum where consumers can attack the companies and falsely educate the public and future consumers. Most of social media pharmaceutical advertising has focused on brand recognition, with stories about human interests that make you like the company rather than focusing on the product. Other advertising methods being so successful has decreased the need to enter the social media market.
2b. Discuss the pros and cons of direct to consumer advertising via social media.
The pros of direct to consumer advertising via social media is that advertisers have complete control of the message rather than communicating through a third person, the doctor. Social media is also inexpensive, fast, and has a large audience. However, the speed and size of audience is also a con because as an open forum, complaints and negativity are broadcast just as easily.
Discuss the role of the healthcare sales reps on the usage of pharmaceuticals products by physician.
The role of the healthcare sales rep is to sell the product to the physician who will then prescribe it. They do this through sales pitches over a provided lunch, bringing promotional items to offices (those that are still allowed), and by bringing samples, which has shown the most significant success.
3b. Discuss how sales reps influence the practice of off label drug use and address the ethics of this practice.
Sales reps are not supposed to influence the practice of off-label drug use, but they do, and sometimes this causes doctors to make prescribing decisions that are not evidence-based. Ethically, this is not right, but there is some grey area, as doctors are allowed to prescribe drugs for off-label use when there is a benefit.
Describe whether enticing the public to sue pharmaceutical companies is good for the patient or good for the law firm.
Enticing the public to sue pharmaceutical companies at this time is not good for a patient or law firm unless it is a name brand drug which has not gone generic, which will allow the suit to progress and likely settle.
4b. Address whether or not the pharmaceutical companies should have immunity from lawsuits if they disclose to the public all possible side effects. Does this place the burden on the patient?
FDA approval decreases the burden on pharmaceutical companies, as their approval assumes that it is approved and puts the burden on the doctor. At no time is the burden placed on the patient unless they don’t follow directions, and drug companies often settle these suits rather than facing negative publicity. The burden is not removed simply because a side effect is noted either.