A love doctors when their treating me. When they’re addressing some pain or injury that is keeping me from living each day as if it were my last. And at 54, I have a little more pain here and there then I did a few years ago.
But I got a glimpse into just how entrepreneurial some physicians can be after reading the NY Times cover article on physician prescribed medications. Now, this hasn’t really affected me since I can’t remember a single instance where my doctor actually filled an actual prescription.
But apparently I’m the outlier. According to the NY Times reporter, Barry Meier…
But doctors who also dispense the drugs they prescribe directly to patients have recently embraced a new pill that contains 7.5 milligrams of the muscle relaxant. There is no evidence to suggest that the pill works any better except, perhaps, for doctors and the middlemen supplying them. They can charge $3.45, or about five times as much as a five- or 10-milligram pill.
Drug prices, generics and biogenerics are all hot topics in the prescription drug category. But this article hit a nerve with the suggestion that doctors are directly colluding with drug middlemen to inflate the price for certain commonly prescribed medications.
Who should be alarmed this trend? Just about all the pharma companies! Note the huge up-swing in media attention attributed to Prescription Drug Prices:
And note the recent momentum build-up in the last chart, +30% going into 2015.
And here’s an interesting metric that illustrates a common mistake when only taking a social media pulse. The social media traction for the drug price trend is very low. The media is taking the charge to the drug manufacturers but there’s very little social media discussion on the topic itself:
This is another example of why tracking trends and topics is even more valuable then tracking brands in the media. When it comes to marketing and selling pharmaceuticals, its the disease/condition/market that drives consideration and adoption.