Physicians Under Pharma’s Influence Are Physicians Powerless Pawns of Pharma Psychology?
Pharma on Homer's Brain“Physicians fail to recognize their vulnerability to commercial influences due to self-serving bias, rationalization, and cognitive dissonance,” claim Sunita Sah and Adriane Fugh-Berman, authors of “Physicians Under the Influence: Social Psychology and Industry Marketing Strategies,” part of a symposium on institutional corruption and pharmaceutical policy in the September 2013 issue of the Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics. Moreover, the authors claim that “professionalism offers little protection; even the most conscious and genuine commitment to ethical behavior cannot eliminate unintentional, subconscious bias.”

The authors/ethicists identify six “principles of influence” that are “key to the industry’s routine marketing strategies, which rely on the illusion that the industry is a generous avuncular partner to physicians.”

Topics include:

  • Six Principles of Influence
  • Gifts and Reciprocity
  • Are Gifts Integral to Promotion?
  • Commitment and Consistency
  • Social Proof and Sense of Entitlement
  • Big Pharma Payments Pay Off
  • Twelve-Step Program to Defeat Pharma Marketing Dependence
  • Figure: Healthcare Professional Earnings Trends
  • Payments to Physicians and Prescribing Behavior
  • What Do Pharma Marketers Think About Gifts to Physicians?
  • Authority and Scarcity

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Issue: Vol. 12, No. 7: 10 September 2013

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