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Old 09-07-2012, 08:15 AM
Location: zone 5
7,330 posts, read 12,568,423 times
Reputation: 9578


I recently saw a sign for pharmaceutical reps on the door of a doctors office, saying they would no longer accept or distribute drug samples. I know some doctors do and some don't, but I was curious as to what led them to change their policy. The office was very busy and I didn't ask anyone.
I don't like doctors who whip the prescription pad out, time after time, as the first answer to everything. I don't like the idea of starting patients out on brand new, relatively untested drugs in cases where an older drug that has stood the test of time would probably do just as well. On the other hand, when patients do need expensive prescriptions, those free samples can be a big help. So if you saw this sign on your doctor's door, would you say "Way to go!" or "What, no more freebies?"
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Old 09-07-2012, 09:18 AM
Location: AZ
741 posts, read 1,321,648 times
Reputation: 1450
I would definitely say "WAY TO GO" !! I am very anti-RX... I would like to see that more often and this country would start getting off so many drugs eventually.
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Old 09-07-2012, 09:42 AM
Location: Bucks, UK
523 posts, read 3,284,263 times
Reputation: 1127
i suspect if they no longer accept samples, but still see reps, then its probably more a function of the practice being concerned about adherence to the Joint Commission rules governing sample dispensing - which can be subject to regulatory enforcement, particularly in large practices (or practices which are part of a larger group) - these would include issues such as having to respond to any potential recall notices from manufacturers, and given the way samples are managed in most practices, continuing to receive them can easily become more hassle than its worth.
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Old 09-07-2012, 12:04 PM
6,368 posts, read 13,362,274 times
Reputation: 5859
^^Nominated for the longest sentence of the day award
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Old 09-08-2012, 11:15 AM
Location: Missouri
6,044 posts, read 21,146,156 times
Reputation: 5033
lol @ gimme

Two weeks ago I would have praised a doctor's office for not accepting samples, but this past week I saved a lot of money when my doctor provided me with a month's worth of OTC product that would have cost me around $40-$50. I guess I am neutral; whatever works best for that particular office.
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Old 09-08-2012, 11:19 AM
35,121 posts, read 37,872,955 times
Reputation: 61846
That may have all started when there was some fuss about the 'gifts' that doctors received from the various pharmaceutical companies to use them and their sales reps instead of another company. Doctors are no longer allowed to receive pens, small note pads, coffee cups, etc. from pharmaceutical companies. Something to do with unfair advertising or some such thing.
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Old 09-08-2012, 07:45 PM
Location: Almost Paradise
1,664 posts, read 1,609,121 times
Reputation: 4225
The Joint Commission only governs hospitals and some physician offices that are owned by hospitals. Private physician offices can choose whether or not to accept and distribute samples.
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Old 09-09-2012, 01:04 PM
Location: Colorado
274 posts, read 399,029 times
Reputation: 444
I am more than grateful that my doctor just gave me about 2 1/2 months worth of a blood-pressure med saving me about $100 - told me to come back in about 2 months for more ... plus prescribed another med ($10 for 90) at double dosage so I could cut it in half extending how long that prescription will last (have about a year and a half worth of those meds) .. she's my life-saver
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Old 09-09-2012, 08:13 PM
Location: Dallas TX
14,324 posts, read 20,579,417 times
Reputation: 20235
I have to say I love samples from my doctor. My allergy medicine is ridiculous expensive. The doctor is wonderful and gives me samples to tide me over until the next time I see her.

When I was younger and didn't have money for health insurance, my OB would give me a year's worth of samples of pills.

While you may be anti-RX and say bravo, it is up to each person to question the doctor, the methods and decide. I say Bravo to the doctors who help patients out with samples.
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Old 09-09-2012, 10:10 PM
Location: Georgia, USA
21,535 posts, read 26,155,710 times
Reputation: 26537
Many pharmaceutical companies are changing to a discount voucher system rather than distributing actual samples. The voucher helps with insurance copays or sometimes provides a free month's supply.

For uninsured patients, assistance programs can provide free drugs for patients who qualify.

Any time you get a prescription, ask about the availability of a generic, which may be $10 for three months at some of the chain pharmacies.

Some medications can be cut in half, but not all. It may not be a good idea with extended or continuous release products.
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