Here are a couple of 'The Conversation' articles by faculty members of the University of Sydney, Australia, namely Barbara Mintzes, Senior Lecturer, Faculty of Pharmacy and Quinn Grundy, Postdoctoral Fellow respectively who look at the evidence and express concerns at what they found:
We can’t trust drug companies to wine, dine and educate doctors about the drugs they prescribe
"Prescrire International, a French independent bulletin, evaluates every new medicine. Over the past ten years, it found that only 7% of 1,035 offered even modest treatment advantages. More than twice as many were less safe or effective than existing options. Most of the rest were no better or worse. (My emphasis)
Doctors get a very different message in drug promotion. Colleagues in Canada, the United States, France and I studied the safety information doctors get from sales representatives. More than 250 doctors participated in the study, reporting on nearly 1,700 drug-specific promotions during sales visits.
Fewer than 2% of promotions included “minimally adequate” information for safe prescribing in any of the three countries."
Invisible influence: why sales reps are forming relationships with nurses
"Globally, countries are adopting regulation that aims to bring transparency to the financial relationships between doctors and pharmaceutical and medical device companies. These relationships are associated with the increased prescription of high-cost, brand-name drugs and devices that often have a limited track record for safety.
However, when policymakers and researchers discuss marketing to health professionals, the relationships between nurses and industry are seldom considered. And these relationships remain almost entirely invisible to the public.
Australia is one of the few countries where payments and gifts to nurses are reported."
You may not think that there's much we can do about this, but perhaps knowing the above can empower you to ask your doctor about alternatives to your currently prescribed medicine. I've personally been prescribed a drug that I suspected may have been causing a side effect. When I questioned my specialist about it, he admitted that there was another, older drug that worked equally well (plus it turned out to cost me less). I switched to the older drug and the side effect went away and I was better off financially!
Photo: Kangaroos at sunset. Kangaroos are most active around sunrise and sunset and you need to be alert when driving at these times, particularly when passing patches of native scrub.