If you happen to visit your Family Dermatologist and are enamored when he gives you a free samples, think again. In fact the Good Samaritan act could be increasing the cost of your treatment. Most Dermatologists happen to prescribe more expensive medications when they give complimentary drug samples to their patients.
According to a news report in Reuters Health, patients must not harbor any notion that he is receiving better treatment if their Doctor is giving a complementary pack of drugs. In fact the Doctor may have increased the price of the treatment by giving you that sample.
According to senior author, from the Stanford University School of Medicine in Stanford, California, Dr Alfred Lane, “If you’re a patient who receives a sample, you may perceive that doctor is giving you better care because they gave you a gift. But that doctor may have increased your medical costs by giving you that sample.”
Dr Lane was addressing fellow dermatologists and he said that Dermatologists must realize that the free samples are making they prescribe costlier drugs.
According to a study published in the JAMA Dermatology, Dr. Kenneth Katz and colleagues from Kaiser Permanente Northern California, the drug industry annually distributes about $6.3 billion drug samples. Free Physicians samples are meant to be distributed to enable patients to try out the drugs before they are prescribed. It also gave the economically weaker patients access to costly drugs.
The antagonists of the practice of distributing free samples however contend that it is not being received by the needy patients and is ending up influencing the Doctors about prescribing a particular type of drug. It could also be possible that Doctors may not be explaining the risks and the benefit aspect of the drug as pharmacists would do.
The study revealed that 9 out of 10 drugs prescribed by dermatologists were more expensive branded drug and branded generic drugs.