"Physicians fail to recognize their vulnerability to commercial influences due to self-serving bias, rationalization, and cognitive dissonance," claim Sunita Sah and Adriane Fugh-Berman, authors of "Physicians Under the Influence: Social Psychology and Industry Marketing Strategies," part of a symposium on institutional corruption and pharmaceutical policy in the September 2013 issue of the Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics. Moreover, the authors claim that "professionalism offers little protection; even the most conscious and genuine commitment to ethical behavior cannot eliminate unintentional, subconscious bias."
The authors/ethicists identify six "principles of influence" that are "key to the industry's routine marketing strategies, which rely on the illusion that the industry is a generous avuncular partner to physicians."
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- Six Principles of Influence
- Gifts and Reciprocity
- Are Gifts Integral to Promotion?
- Commitment and Consistency
- Social Proof and Sense of Entitlement
- Big Pharma Payments Pay Off
- Twelve-Step Program to Defeat Pharma Marketing Dependence
- Figure: Healthcare Professional Earnings Trends
- Payments to Physicians and Prescribing Behavior
- What Do Pharma Marketers Think About Gifts to Physicians?
- Authority and Scarcity