May 25, 2011 by Staff Writers
Doctors on Drugs
Increasing in costs each year, prescription pills are one of the most profitable and dominating industries in the nation, with annual sales in the hundreds of billions. Prescribed medications constitute a significant bulk of work that medical coders must transcribe. Shockingly, the prescription pill industry uses questionable practices to increase their bottom line, and in turn, increase coding workload through unnecessary prescriptions. Though pharmaceutical companies have long-earned a reputation for wooing doctors with gifts, bribes, and incentives, it was only revealed in recent years that they’ve also been paying doctors huge sums of money to promote certain products ‚Äì and doctors are taking up on these offers. These pre-selected medications are not only violating a conflict of interest, but they can also be largely responsible for increases in patient and insurance costs: a doctor may feel obligated to prescribe an expensive “sponsored” medication over a cheaper alternative. This in turn, is reflected on the overall rising cost of healthcare, which unfortunately, is exactly what the doctor ordered.