What does your doctor sell out for?

How much influence could a free pen have over what medication your doctor prescribes for you? What about a cup of coffee? A couple of baseball tickets? A couple of baseball tickets from a 20-something woman wearing a short skirt and Rembrandt smile?

Think about it because the drug industry is. And they're convinced these gifts work otherwise they probably wouldn't have approximately four drug sales representatives for every doctor. Or spend twice as much on marketing as they do on research and development. Or have two drug lobbyists for every legislator in Washington.

None of this would be a problem if the drugs worked well, were safe and didn't cost much. But a new documentary from Kathleen Slattery-Moschkau called Money Talks: Profits Before Patient Safety shows that's far from the case.

After all, there's no need to heavily market a cheap drug with known benefits (e.g. Aspirin), and, I'm guessing a cure for cancer would sell itself.

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. AlterNet’s journalists work tirelessly to counter the traditional corporate media narrative. We’re here seven days a week, 365 days a year. And we’re proud to say that we’ve been bringing you the real, unfiltered news for 20 years—longer than any other progressive news site on the Internet.

It’s through the generosity of our supporters that we’re able to share with you all the underreported news you need to know. Independent journalism is increasingly imperiled; ads alone can’t pay our bills. AlterNet counts on readers like you to support our coverage. Did you enjoy content from David Cay Johnston, Common Dreams, Raw Story and Robert Reich? Opinion from Salon and Jim Hightower? Analysis by The Conversation? Then join the hundreds of readers who have supported AlterNet this year.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure AlterNet remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to AlterNet, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.

DonateDonate by credit card


Don't Sit on the Sidelines of History. Join Alternet All Access and Go Ad-Free. Support Honest Journalism.