Regulation on who can see which doctors prescribe what drugs

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Carl Elliot provides us with an account of how pharmaceutical industry became so influential in prescription behaviours of doctors. It is no surprise that they would have influence to doctors, but it is interesting how much influence they were able to achieve in the last couple of decades. Elliott describes a technological advancement which allowed sales representatives to systematize effectively which doctors and how to target them. One could say this is sales representatives now being able to see which doctors use their drugs. What if sales representatives were not allowed to access this information? Then, it would help suppress some competition, arms race to approach “right” doctors who will sell their drugs more likely than those doctors who do not sway so easily, because then, they do not have who the “right” doctors are and what tactics are effective when giving gifts to those doctors. I believe this way, because doctors, as discussed previously, are become more vulnerable to bias proportionally to the amount of gift that they get, however small they may be. Sales reps would not get a direct feedback on which methods will work to influence their designated doctors’ prescription behaviours. Of course, doctors do need to know about new drugs and it is not morally impermissible to have sales representatives build a relationship with the doctors; the whole society runs based on closely knit relations. However, sales reps and their drug companies should not be able to exert more influence over a certain limit and blind doctors. 

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About Sangwoo

Korean, international student, philosophy,
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