Researchers examining Medicare prescribing patterns of oral anticoagulants and non-insulin diabetes drugs have found that pharmaceutical marketing to physicians involving payments (from consulting fees to gifts and free lunches) was associated with physicians being more likely to prescribe those marketed drugs. Most physicians, however, don’t believe the drug company ties influence their prescribing, according to a study published August 18 the BMJ.

The authors studied 2013 and 2014 Open Payments and Medicare Part D prescribing data for commonly prescribed and marketed oral anticoagulants and non-insulin diabetes drugs. The data included 306 hospital referral regions, and nearly 46,000,000 Medicare Part D prescriptions written by 623,886 physicians to 10,513,173 patients.

They found that there was a total of $61,026,140 made to physicians (representing 977,407 payments).

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