Addiction: Social Community
2.75k Members
662972 tn?1270166301

do doctors make money off scripts

I have always wondered this do doctors make money off writing opiate scripts like a kick back from someone company, pharm, etc? Are do they just ended up not minding writing scripts for opiates?
18 Responses
306867 tn?1299249709
I did some work for a large clinic. Everyday I was there the pharmacutical companies provided these huge lunch spreads for them. Some doctors are given vacations etc. So yes they get kick backs for prescribing certain meds.
306867 tn?1299249709
Well it really was the employee's benefiting from the lunches. I didn't see any of the doctors in the lunch room. lol
230262 tn?1316645934
mary if your doctor was anything like mine then he was in the BACK SECRET LOUNGE room.  OMG i had NO Idea this room existed even until one day they were full and had to put me in that room . It s actually kinda spooky this room even exists in a doctor office building...marble floors, leather couches, a fancy fountain/rock thingy with real running water, lol, gold plated decorations..it was just insane! Too rich for his own good!
Avatar universal
I have to agree that I feel that Doctors get huge kick backs from writing scripts as WELL as the pharmacutical companies....Goes hand in hand....

Think about all the FREE SAMPLES that your MD gives out in order for you to get started on whatever medication the pharm rep is selling...

Avatar universal
Oh God, I know I'm going to get slammed for this, and I know about the craziness you dealt with trouble, but my wife runs a community health care system and a lot of my friends are doctors, and I know that doctors do not get kickbacks for writing narcotic scrips. In fact, I don't know a single doctor who doesn't wish they could stop being plagued by the hordes of patients begging, demanding, whining, and even threatening them for narcotics. They are under intense scrutiny from the pharmacy boards and law enforcement and can lose the license they worked so hard for when a patient who got narcotics from them screws up or they run afoul of the complex web of overlapping regulations.. They've got addicts trying to scam them all the time and even criminals trying to get scrips they can sell. They also have patients in pain and it can be extremely hard to figure out who is a scammer, who is an addict, and who really needs narcotic pain relief. It is a constant dilemma for them. My wife's system had to hire a full time person to deal with patient complaints and the majority of those are over narcotic prescriptions. Many of the doctors want to just stop dispensing narcs altogether but those pain patients would have no where else to go. The largest pain management clinic in the state has stopped taking new patients. The agency that provides health care for the homeless recently banned their doctors from dispensing narcotics. And many of the private docs and small systems, have decided to no longer accept new patients if pain is any part of their prognosis. This creates a flood of patients looking for a new doctor who will give them narcs for pain. When they show up and ask for narcs they scare the crap out of their new doctor. The whole system is overloaded and they are turning patients away. They don't need to go find people and get them addicted to make more money. Far from it, they make less money by accepting these patients. Over and over we hear patients complain that their doctors didn't warn them about these meds and sometimes they even sue the doctor for "getting them addicted." And yet every single patient who gets these meds in this system has to first sign a narc contract that starts out with a warning about the potential for addiction. I'll sign off now and let you guys start yelling at me but first I want to tie this up by saying that in my opinion it is so unfair to blame your doctor for your addiction.I never got narcotics from any doctor until I insisted I needed them and if I had followed the doctors orders I would never have had a problem. And oh lord, to begrudge them their little lounge when they are seeing forty patients a day and then dealing with fifty more charts to take care of the call-ins and follow ups after the doors close and then dealing with more required paperwork to try to keep up with the insurance companies changing their rules every month trying to make a profit by stiffing the doctors - I want my doctor to have a place to go relax for five minutes during the day to try to de-stress before they deal with the responsibility of my health care prognosis.
1011285 tn?1302116858
Nobody was blaming Dr.' s for their addiction, she was only asking. But in my experience and from what I have heard, is that they do get paid for writing scripts. This may not be true but if Doctors are so fed up with people come in and whining for more pills then why would a doctor try to make you a functioning addict. Like my step mom the doctor is just trying to make her live her life while on pills, and doesnt expect to take her off. I dont get that....
Avatar universal
Really, you think a doctor is making your step mom take pills? She asked for help getting off and the doctor said no? Go read on the pain management forum and see what the reaction is when a doctor, on their own, suggests that a patient's doses are too high or that they should consider quitting. Doctors are not out there trying to manufacture  addicts. They are trying to help people with complex problems continue to function. If your step mom doesn't want to continue taking pills no doctor is going to make her keep taking them. But he can expect a real hard time if he tries to take her off them if the motivation to do so does not come from her. I don't understand. You say no one is blaming the doctor for their addiction but then you seem to blame the doctor for your step moms addiction and even ascribe it to some twisted profit motivation that doesn't exist.
Avatar universal
Doctors absolutely do NOT get a kick back for writing prescriptions.  My ex- husband is a heart surgeon   or  more specifically a cardio vascular thoracic surgeon  and has never received one dime from any pharmaceutical company or any paid vacations, absolutely nada,   other than the silly cheap clocks and pens and all the other trinkets the drug reps hand out.  Most physician will not even meet with the drug reps  because they are unrelentless and a pain in the uh-huh.  ALL the physician I know,  leave that to the office manager or perhaps one of the nurses.  Even the PA's wont see these people......  the samples are nice for their patients  without any insurance,  but there is nothing gained by the docs in the pharmaceutical world.  Do you have any idea of what the advertising budget is for the drug companies?  Just turn on a TV  you can't go past too many commercials before you see one for a new "wonder" drug.   I think they rank in the top 3 for advertising monies spent.....  and most docs  hate all the ads that causes their patients to diagnose themselves and come in requesting some drug they have seen on television.

Yes absolutely bad docs exist,  I just can't figure out how even a corrupt one would benefit by the drug companies...and there is no way in hell they can from pharmacies for prescriptions written,  unless they were selling the samples out on the streets,  and I don't think Viagra is in demand out there.....  or selling scripts.  Like with all professions and people, it  is too bad for so many to be judged by the pitiful actions of a few,   Trust me, my husband would not risk his salary or  dedication of 16 yrs training post high school to try and scam with a pharmaceutical rep, that would also have to be breaking every law in the book to make a few bucks.
Avatar universal
Doctors get all kinds of benefits for prescribing certain drugs. It is well known. Many will admit to it. I saw a 20/20 story about how the pharmaceutical companies recruit Doctors while they are in med school. Here is one story. And you can google  hundreds more.
518031 tn?1295575374
very well written,,,I went to a pain specialist for over 4 years have a very bad back...noone could help with my pain control..he put me on percocet and then add morphime sulfate..well I ended up addicitied...now my pain specialist was and is a excellent dr. He did not get me addicited to the pain meds...that was my fault..I think abig problem was i didnt give him enough info on my pain once we got started in the treatment plan I figured the meds I was on could take care of it...but i was wrong and started using more then i should untill it got out of hand,,,it was not  THE DRS FAULT.  i am not saying that thee is bad drs i am sure there is..i think they just get blamed way to much.....most drs that i have been to, do not want to see thier patients in pain..but they do have so many ppl up thier ying yang over opiates it is no wonder drs want to stay away from them
Avatar universal
the pharmacutical were forced into an agreement last year that they would no longer by lunches, vacations or other gifts to doctors for pushing their products, howeve the down side of this is that the mental health clinic i worked at could no longer give samples to patients who really needed the samples, most people with mental illness cannot afford the medicine they need to take so yes the doctors got a free lunch and some note pads with a drug advertisment on them but now the samples are gone too.
now that i think of it, its not just the mental health clinic patients who cannot afford treatment its all americans
495284 tn?1333894042
All samples have stopped around here and it does make a big difference.  It was a great service to us, the patient.          sara
Avatar universal
Very interesting. I did think we were talking about addiction and addictive drugs here. I  have a cabinet full of coffee cups with drug names on them. None of them however are advertising opiates or narcotics. Those sell themselves.
495284 tn?1333894042
I miss the antibiotics........
973741 tn?1342342773
What kinds of kickbacks are you talking about.  Per pharma guidelines, drug companies aren't even allowed to pass out pens anymore . . . At this point, things are pretty strictly monitered and there are many laws surrounding pharmaceutical companies selling practices.  My dear friend is an anesthesiologist that runs a pain clinic.  I am a clinical psychologist by profession that worked in a large psychiatric office and hospital.  No secret rooms that I've ever heard of.

So the only way that a doctor could possibly profit by a drug company at this point in time is to either be a speaker for that company (in which he has extensive knowledge and gives an approved to be unbiased talk to other practicing physicians) and receives a fee or to be part of a large clinical trial (but they then would most likely be associated with a major university, major medical center or teaching center and it would all be tied together as one entity to be paid).   I know about the clinical trial part as I did much outcome data analysis throughout my career of clinical trials.  

Anyway, many abused medications are actually generic these days . . . so no drug company to even care at that point.  
Avatar universal
Thanks.....  could not agree more with you.... but  I was only married to a surgeon, so don't have the "experience" as much as  from what others read/ or think/ or just because/...    I do think it is sad there is so much information that is blatantly wrong floating out there,  and more so that so many really don't care what one with a bit of knowledge tries to offer....   if your mindset  is......"it what it is".....  I have found my words fall on ears that choose not to open their minds to another possibility or perhaps reality..........  Oh well.
Avatar universal
Once we have our minds set on a particular subject we tend to think that we and we alone are right and the rest of the world is wrong. You can take any subject at all and there will always be pros and cons. There is nothing wrong with that. It creates a learning experience in which we have cause for thought. Do doctors get paid to use or promote certain drugs? There is no doubt that they were at one point, but legislation has put a stop to that. There is however a way to get around that. A company can start a symposium whereby certain doctoprs are invited. During the symposium thay can be wined and dined, shown the various products, invited to a luau in Hawaii etc. shown the products again, given parting gift and flown home first class, all for taking part in the symposium . It would only be natural, which is a good argument, for the companies to say that at no time did they approach the doctors to promote or even use the product. This would be true and if the doctors happened to use the product or just mentioned it to a colleague then that, of course would not be of the companies doing because at no time was the subject of promoting or using the product ever brought up. They were merely giving the doctors a preview of the companies new products.
973741 tn?1342342773
I don't want to be argumentative----   I really don't.  But those types of "symposiams" as you call them are now also completely illegal.  Drug companies are under a tremendous amount of scrutiny at this point with our current administration.  Whether that is good or bad, I do not know.  I will say that learning about specific drugs IS important as we all know how busy doctors are.  They take a pharmacology course during med school and that is it.  The rest they learn as they go.  As a new drug comes out, you read about the drug through trade periodicals and yes, from drug rep information.  Drug rep information that is presented must be approved by the FDA and must be fair and balance.  It is a law.  Legal must have it's hand in each and every promotional material and it all has to have the cons listed with the pros.  I do not doubt that some reps make up their own materials to show doctors that are unapproved but these are usually in the form of unapproved studies.  Anyway, I guess I was just saying that at times the information that is provided can be helpful to a very busy medical professional.  This was probably more true in the old days before webMD.  (most docs I know have quick access to all information this way.)  

In the old days, I don't know if people bought scripts-----  but due to HIPPA privacy laws (you've all signed the documents)-----  it is now very hard to even tract scripts I suspect.  In the old days, I do know that doctors who "over prescribed" were actually scrutinized by the DEA.  I've known two doctors that weren't paid by drug companies to prescribe narcotics to patients but were paid by patients to prescribe.  Two.  (both doctors lost their medical liscense.-----  which reminds me that not only are companies watched but individual doctors are watched as well by the state liscensing bourds).

And again, most abused drugs are generic.  That means when a patient gets to a pharmacy----  the pharmacist just gives out whatever generic company meds they have that week (for example, if 5 generic companies make hydrocodone, they will have a different generic at different times and just give you what they have.)

I only wrote this to help.  Of course, no one has to believe me.  I have a friend that is at this point entering a crisis with her addiction and I came to this forum to gain some insight.  Then I saw a question that I could be helpful with.  Not to upset anyone, for sure!  Good luck to all.
Have an Answer?
Top Addiction Answerers
495284 tn?1333894042
City of Dominatrix, MN
3060903 tn?1398565123
Learn About Top Answerers
Didn't find the answer you were looking for?
Ask a question
Popular Resources
Is treating glaucoma with marijuana all hype, or can hemp actually help?
If you think marijuana has no ill effects on your health, this article from Missouri Medicine may make you think again.
Julia Aharonov, DO, reveals the quickest way to beat drug withdrawal.
Tricks to help you quit for good.
For people with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD), the COVID-19 pandemic can be particularly challenging.
A list of national and international resources and hotlines to help connect you to needed health and medical services.