AARP joins movement against pharma rep gifts to docs

The AARP has joined the movement to rein in pharma sales reps, according to this press release.

    Free food, face time and golf trips are powerful methods of persuasion, says AARP spokesman David Irwin. They're common practices, he said, among pharmaceutical company representatives pushing doctors to prescribe more expensive, brand-name drugs when less-expensive, generic brands are as effective...

    To counter the sales pitches, Southern Tier members of the AARP are adopting the pharmaceutical companies' tactics. Members of the AARP will travel to doctors' offices today to encourage doctors to resist temptations from drug reps.

    The AARP is also pushing for state legislation that would force pharmaceutical companies to reveal the amount of money they spend on marketing the drugs. Irwin said AARP estimates put drug company spending on marketing at about $5 billion a year.

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