HealthLawProf Blog

Editor: Katharine Van Tassel
Creighton University School of Law

Monday, May 9, 2005

Bad Publicity for Drug Companies

The New York Times ran several articles over the weekend discussing the drug companies.  On Saturday there was an interesting article on the ways that drug companies market their drugs.  It was rather eye opening.  This article follows revelations on Friday about some of the marketing techniques used by Merck to encourage the use of Vioxx.   ThinkProgress has an overview of those techniques, including the use of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Helen Keller to inspire their sales force. 

On Sunday, the Times had an article concerning the generous tax breaks the drug  companies received recently.  Meanwhile, the same Sunday Times also had an article discussing yet another impact of the Medicare prescription drug benefit - a reduction in food stamps for those who qualify for both programs.  It does make sense to a certain extent to argue that people who spend less on prescription drugs will have more to spend on food but I am not sure that the program will work quite so well.  However, I thought that some people might actually be gaining access to drugs that they didn't have access to previously because they could now afford them under this Medicare program.  It appears that those individuals have not been figured into this food stamp calculation. [bm]

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