In “Docs paid by pharma tend to favor brand-name drugs” [Local News, March 18], there is a correlation between physicians receiving payments from pharmaceutical companies and their use of higher-price name-brand drugs. The Everett Clinic has proved that limiting access to enticements from pharmaceutical companies lowers the cost to patients without lowering the quality of care.
Before I joined the clinic, it enacted a pharmaceutical sales ban — one of the first health-care organizations in the nation to do so. Therefore, I did not have access to drug-sales reps. I was skeptical, at first. I also did not believe that I would be influenced by perks.
The results speak for themselves. The rate of generic prescriptions written increased from 40 percent in 2001 to 92 percent in 2016. That resulted in an estimated savings of $100 million per year to our patients.
To stay current without bias, the clinic employs clinical pharmacists who research newly released drugs and inform physicians when cost-effective generics or other treatment alternatives are available.
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Patients receive the best, most current health care without the cost of brand-name drugs. The Everett Clinic’s experience shows the dramatic savings to patients when there is no influence from the pharmaceutical industry.
Scott Schaaf, Everett Clinic Orthopedic Surgeon