"How do pharmaceutical companies know which doctors prescribe the latest and most expensive brand name drugs?
They have inside information on the prescribing habits of virtually every doctor in the United States. Pharmaceutical and device manufacturers buy this information from the American Medical Association and from companies that match the AMA's data with pharmacy records.
While such practices have gone on for years, the issue is expected to be a hot topic at this week's annual meeting of the AMA in Chicago, with some groups planning to protest during the gathering at the Hilton Chicago.
"Doctors are not aware that companies are out there that know every prescription a doctor prescribes," said Dr. John Santa, an internist at the Portland Veterans Affairs Medical Center and consultant to the Prescription Project, which is part of a coalition trying to curb drug companies' access to doctor prescribing information."
Read the full article in the Chicago Tribune.