National Survey Focuses on Racial Disparities, Prescription Drugs - Brief Article

Author: Rosemarie Sweeney, Matthew Neff
Date: May 15, 2002

The Kaiser Family Foundation recently released the National Survey of Physicians, a two-part national survey of 2,608 physicians dealing with racial disparities in medical care and the influence of promotions from pharmaceutical companies on drug prescriptions. Results from part I of the survey reveal that the majority of physicians believe racial disparities exist in the medical treatment of certain conditions but are not widespread; however, 77 percent of black physicians believe race and ethnicity affect how patients are treated at least "somewhat often." The majority of physicians listed insurance status as the key determinant of treatment within the health care system, and 72 percent believed that the system treated patients unfairly based on health insurance status "very often" or "somewhat often." Part II of the survey found that most physicians have received gifts from a pharmaceutical company, including free drug samples, meals, tickets to events, and free travel. Nearly three fourths of physicians listed information from pharmaceutical companies as "very" or "somewhat" useful, and most thought the information was "very or somewhat accurate." More than 60 percent of physicians said that prescription drug advertisements influenced their patients to discuss the drug with their physician. For a complete copy of the survey results, visit the Kaiser Family Foundation Web site at

COPYRIGHT 2002 American Academy of Family PhysiciansCOPYRIGHT 2002 Gale Group

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