It's a medical decision, stupid.
January 28, 2008 9:09 AM Subscribe
posted by Mister_A (68 comments total)
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Someone is offering doctors a financial inducement (premium? kickback?) to write prescriptions for certain drugs at the expense of others. Only this time it's the insurers paying $100 a pop for switching patients from brand-name statins to generics.
Pfizer, manufacturer of the statin Lipitor, the world's best-selling drug brand of all time, is pissed. They point to a study that says you are more likely to die if you switch to generic simvaststin than you are if you stay on Lipitor
The study, funded by Pfizer, may well be total crap. It's basically a chart review, not a prospective experiment, and lacks predictive power.
...independent researchers say that limitations in the study, which was conducted by Pfizer’s own researchers, gives it little predictive power about what will happen to patients who take simvastatin instead of Lipitor. And they say the study is far less important than large clinical trials that have shown simvastatin’s effectiveness at reducing cholesterol. via.
“It will run counter to everything that’s been published to date if it’s true,” Dr. Lee said of the Pfizer study. He is president of the network of about 5,000 doctors in Partners HealthCare, the health system formed by Massachusetts General Hospital and Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston.
Finally, for your infotainment, here's commentary on Doctor Robert Jarvik shilling for Lipitor
in a series of ads for the super-ega-ultra-blockbuster.