Our very own Dr. Andy Fine gives his thoughts on the effects of marketing in medicine. Continue reading below to learn more about his view of the impact marketing can have on patient care.
I’ve been thinking about how much marketing is done in the medical profession and how out of hand it’s gotten. We get bombarded by all kinds of drugs, devices, and service providers that want to make us give you a product or service that they think are going to benefit you. However, it’s really a lot of marketing and their way of getting in the door to grow their business and make money. I do not feel comfortable with us selling products or trying to push revenue and make people get unnecessary testing, medication, products or unnecessary anything.
There’s a lot of harm that can be done and people are getting things they don’t need. We do not allow for any drug reps, device reps, or anyone that’s selling something to come in our office and buy us lunch, buy the staff things, or accept gifts. I haven’t done that for 2 decades now as I feel that it’s a conflict of interest and just inappropriate. They all mean well, they do believe in their products and what they’re trying to sell us, and some of it’s ok. But generally, we think that “sales marketing” should not have a place in medicine. It certainly shouldn’t interfere with whether someone decides to get a test or certain procedure or recommend some type of pharmaceutical drug or supplement, etc.
Some people have asked us why we don’t have antibiotics available in the office, why we don’t dispense stuff, or why we don’t have samples. The reason being I don’t want to get involved with marketing or people that feel like we owe it to them to give their product and get you hooked on it so you’ll have to get some prescription after that for that same thing. Which is usually a lot more expensive than something else we could give you that’s a generic version of the drug.
So all the marketing that goes on with pharmaceuticals, all the drugs, and devices, things that are new and not generic, things that are expensive to go out and sell and market these things to physicians and healthcare providers, I don’t think they’re a good use of limited dollars. This should instead be going to patients that need healthcare services instead of us trying to sell certain products.
We pride ourselves on using generic whenever possible. We would rather take the time to tell you why we should use a generic drug or not do a procedure we think you don’t need, rather than just signing off on getting some treatment you saw on tv or some test you think that you need when it might not be in your best interest to get that test.