Monday, February 18, 2008
Just a quick note on something I came across. The results of a very interesting study were published in The American Journal of Public Health recently. Entitled "Characteristics of Recipients of Free Prescription Drug Samples", the study aimed to find out whether drug samples were serving the noble purpose put upon them by their staunchest defenders, the companies that give them out. That is, do those most in need most frequently receive drug samples, or the data point to a more nefarious motive behind free samples? This study seems to bear out the latter. Poor people were less likely than rich people to receive samples as were those without health insurance compared to those with health insurance. There you have it: free drug samples are not a benevolent public service provided by philanthropic pharmaceutical companies. Considering American pharmaceutical companies spend upwards of $16-billion a year on samples alone, it stands to reason that they are merely another arm of the massive marketing machine that aims only to sell more and more drugs.