Sunday, January 6, 2008

Drug Companies Spend Almost 60 Billion On Marketing, 30 Billion on Research. WHAT?

It's okay for drug companies to spend oodles on advertising because they spend even more making sure their drugs are safe and effective, right? Not so much, according to a study in PLOS Medicine.

The study shatters the accepted myth that pharmaceutical companies spend more on research than on marketing. In reality, drug companies pour $57.5 billion into marketing, dwarfing the comparably paltry $31.5 billion devoted to research.

Billions of marketing dollars go toward television ads that implore us to "ask our doctor" about drugs we don't need to treat ailments cultured by public relations firms. Yet even more money is spent convincing doctors to prescribe costly medicine—an astounding $61,000 in "promotion per psysican"
We think there is something severely wrong with a system that emphasizes marketing over research. Profit is good, but profit at the expense of the public health is dangerous.
Don't be ashamed to ask your doctor if a drug company recently paid for any meals or ski trips. Instead of mentioning the latest drug splashed across the screen, ask how they would use their expansive medical knowledge to treat your condition. Ask how they would treat their child.

Original Article, with comments-

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