I’ve had Medicare clients tell me, “My doctor only prescribes brand name drugs” with the inference that their doctor is somehow more responsible and therefore a better doctor since he doesn’t recommend generic drugs. This is a red flag!  People don’t understand that while generic drugs are not in fact identical, they are close enough to be considered a good option and in many cases they out perform the more expensive brand name options.

Brand Name doesn’t equal good and Generic isn’t a cheap knock-off

Here is the real reason why some doctors only prescribe brand named drugs: money. The largest health care fraud case in the California Department of Insurance’s history is against drug maker, AbbVie.  According to the Associated Press, “It’s likely that doctors wrote prescriptions for Humira (a rheumatoid arthritis drug) because of the kick backs and not because it was the best medication to treat them.”  Is your doctor taking money from big Pharma?  Since 2016, Drug and Medical Device companies are required by law to report details of their payments. Click here to look up your doctor This may be a good site for insurance agents to use when you encounter the client who can’t afford her expensive brand named drugs and has a doctor who refuses to consider generics.  A quick computer look-up might shed some light on the doctor’s motives!  I looked up a friend from high school, and he took $0 from drug companies. Go Dave!  His cousin, however, took 319 payments in 2016 from 18 companies for a total of $146,600.  Here is how they paid him: Humira spent $791,000 in 2016 on payments to doctors–which is high, but not the highest. That award goes to the maker of Xarelto (a blood thinner). The doctor in CA who took home the most money got paid nearly $400,000.  Most insurance agents know that Warfarin is a cheap, generic blood thinner which works well for many clients. When our clients are struggling to pay their Rx co-pays we agents recommend they talk to their doctors about generic alternatives.  I’m not here to oversimplify the issue: generic drugs may not give your clients a good result.  But they are worth a discussion.  Any doctor who rules out any and all generics is not a doctor I’d see or recommend to my clients.  Email me if you find your doctor on the list. Sgordon@gordonmarketing.com. I’m curious what you’ll find.