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Older doctors more likely to grant brand-name drug requests

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted Feb. 25, 2013

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About 40% of physicians say they prescribe brand-name drugs to patients seeking them, even when less costly generic medications are available, according to a research letter published Feb. 11 in JAMA Internal Medicine, formerly Archives of Internal Medicine. Half of internists and psychiatrists said they would grant such requests, compared with 44% of cardiologists, 39% of family physicians and 17% of pediatricians, said the letter, based on a survey of nearly 1,900 randomly sampled U.S. physicians.

Forty-three percent of doctors in practice for 30 years or more ordered brand-name medications upon request, compared with 36% of physicians with 11 to 30 years in practice and 31% of physicians with less than a decade since training. Doctors who met with drug reps, accepted drug samples or ate pharma-provided meals also were likelier to accede to patient requests for brand names, said the study, published Feb. 11 (link).

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