Sarah Miller

Study by Miller et al. shows that doctors prescribe more branded medications after marketing visits by the makers of those drugs.

an In The Media Reference

"After free lunch from drug firms, doctors increase prescriptions" - Newswise. 2/17/2020.

Doctors prescribe more branded medications after marketing visits by the makers of those drugs, new research co-authored by a Cornell economist confirms.

But while the 4% average monthly increase in sales of those drugs in the year following such marketing represents a substantial return on investment, it is well below what some previous studies have suggested, said Colleen Carey, assistant professor of policy analysis and management in the College of Human Ecology.

Additionally, the study found that drug firms' "detailing" visits - a controversial practice involving in-kind payments to doctors, commonly meals - does not lead them to prescribe higher-quality drugs, as industry advocates have argued.

"We took seriously the claim that there is educational value to these marketing encounters," Carey said. "We just don't find any evidence for it."

Carey is the author, with Ethan Lieber of the University of Notre Dame and Sarah Miller of the University of Michigan, of "Drug Firms' Payments and Physicians' Prescribing Behavior in Medicare Part D," released Feb. 17 as a working paper by National Bureau of Economic Research.

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Sarah Miller

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