Health Care

Drug Industry Mines Physicians' Data to Boost Sales

  • Playlist
  • Download
  • Embed
    <iframe src="" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Every day, thousands of representatives from pharmaceutical companies visit physicians to get them to prescribe the company's newest drugs. What some doctors don't realize is that drug salesmen know exactly what drugs an individual doctor prescribes.

And they use that information to hone their sales pitches. Drug companies love the data. But critics contend it is an invasion of privacy and drives up the cost of health care. Maine has just become the third state to pass a measure limiting access to the data.



Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.

NPR thanks our sponsors

Become an NPR sponsor

Support comes from