David P. Paul examines the particular issue of pharmaceutical marketing concerning the gift-giving and gift-receiving tradition amongst physicians and pharmaceutical companies. This study is relevant due to the marketing phenomenon of gift-giving, as it is crucial in the prescription pharmaceuticals sector that neglected the benefits of this approach for decades. Paul thoroughly analyzes the complex relationship between the physicians, pharmaceutical companies, and society as well. As the factor responsible for patients’ health, the pharmaceutical industry should aim at encouraging physicians to “prescribe the right drug for the right patient at the right time in the right dose” (Paul, 2018, p. 90). However, the marketing of prescription pharmaceuticals by commercial companies can potentially lead to adverse consequences.
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The research aims at refuting the beliefs of physicians’ immunity to the effect of gifts from pharmaceutical companies. Paul discloses the theory of gift-giving and gift-receiving that clarifies the misconception of the self-serving position on behalf of prescribers. From the alternative perspective, pharmaceutical companies that prefer commercial businesses are based on the legal doctrine of Nulla poena sine lege, the Latin for “no penalty without a law” (Paul, 2018, p. 95). Bearing this in mind, any pharmaceutical company wishing to spend on pharmaceutical gift-giving is lawful and permissible until the governing law is changed. Pharmaceutical companies spent double the amount of money on marketing as on R&D (research and development) in 2007. Therefore, the growth of marketing expenses by pharmaceutical companies, including gifts allowed by law, is unlikely to decline in the near future. The culminating point implies the rise of the healthcare transparency records’ accessibility that promotes public pressure on physicians to decrease their acceptance of the pharmaceutical companies’ gifts. Besides, this may result in the prescription practice focused more on the interests of the public rather than pharmaceutical companies, although it is a time-consuming issue.
Internet Pharmacy and Sale of Drugs
George Pozgar highlights the particularly important topic of the Internet drug sale that is rapidly growing because of the high cost of drugs. It is worth mentioning that this issue concerns not only the patients purchasing fake medications but also the physicians providing ambiguous prescriptions through the Internet platforms. As an example, Pozgar (2019) mentions the Internet pharmacy NationPharmacy.com operated by Fuchs that supplied its customers with prescription and nonprescription medications. More importantly, according to federal law, every request for the prescription drug has to be necessarily reviewed by the physician. The indictee of this case was Dr. Nelson, who accepted the request without prior examination of the patients. The orders were first sent to the Main Street Pharmacy, where each of the prescriptions was signed by Dr. Nelson’s son, and then sent by mail to the customers.
Another incident described by the author was addressing Dr. Richard Ruth and his son Michael that were responsible for the illegal distribution of prescription drugs. One of the strategies to fight this problem directly deals with the Google platform that aims at avoiding aiding the illegal online pharmaceutical business (Pozgar, 2019). This implies the payment of five hundred million dollars to prevent its growth. However, some of the online pharmacy advertisers are allegedly based in Canada focused on US customers. To conclude, the Internet illegal drug sale is a growing issue; however, it is a risky business that has a harmful effect on customers, as well as their health and safety.
Paul, D. (2018). The inherently flawed relationship between physicians and pharmaceutical companies’ gifts. Atlantic Marketing Journal, 7(1), 89-102. Web.
Pozgar, G. (2019). Legal aspects of health care administration (13th ed.). Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning.