Prescribing Authority of Doctors Undermined

Prescribing Authority of Doctors Undermined

02.01.12 | By Jennifer Wall

I was just getting my daily dose of pharma news from Pharmalot and ran across an interesting blog post about prescribing decisions made by doctors. Ed Silverman, the man behind Pharmalot, highlighted a recent study that examined how a group of physicians view the prescribing of generic drugs. While many of the physicians reported that they, for the most part, have no problems prescribing generic drugs, they often felt like the decision to do so was out of their hands.

I must admit that I was pretty shocked after reading this:

"In some cases, I think physicians have lost prescribing authority or control," says Tom St. Peter, a marketing vice president at DoctorDirectory. "Even though they may write for a given brand, it gets changed at the pharmacy. I think some feel that it doesn't make much difference what they write anymore because it's being determined by somebody else," he said.

"And I think a lot of physicians say they switch (to prescribing generics) because they're forced to switch, and to do so quickly," he added.

Patients often ask their doctor to prescribe a generic medicine but it is becoming more frequent for a pharmacist or managed care provider to decide what medicine the patient should receive, despite what was written by the doctor on the prescription.

Though we recognize the role that some utilization tools play in our system today, at the end of the day, a physician should be the one making a patient's treatment decisions based on each unique situation.

Anyone care to weigh in?

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