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Massachusetts health care — wonky, with a healthy dose of reality

Watch The Video That Pharma Does Not Want You To See

Watch The Video That Pharma Does Not Want You To See

February 11, 2015

Sunday's Last Week Tonight With John Oliver included a brilliant take-down of appalling drug marketing tactics aimed at influencing physician prescribing, a long-time concern of HCFA and the Massachusetts Prescription Reform Coalition we lead.

Some of the language may not be quite safe for work, but we can't resist this:

"Drug companies are a bit like high school boyfriends. They're much more concerned with getting inside of you than being effective once they're in there."

The piece included an interview with Jerry Avorn, who has worked closely with us on these issues over the years.

As you watch the clip below (and you must watch it), remember these points:

  1. Massachusetts passed a comprehensive law regulating drug industry marketing to doctors, that included provisions banning gifts and requiring all meals as part of mearketing sessions to be "modest."
  2. Under intense pressure from the pharmaceutical industry and after a very contentious meeting, the Public Health Council voted to define a modest meal as whatever a doctor would order on his or her own, including alcoholic beverages, essentially gutting the legislation.  
  3. HCFA is supporting legislation for 2015 that would shine more light on prescription drug marketing by the pharmaceutical industry, and allow the state to regulate unreasonably expensive prescriptions.

Watch, then ask you state Senator or Representative to co-sponsor our bill, SD 1726:

(This, too:

“Pharma reps are like the cast of Grey’s Anatomy. They’re young, they’re hot, and they have virtually no medical training whatsoever.”  )


-  Brian Rosman