Consumers worry about influence

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A fifth of consumers have asked their doctor to prescribe a drug they learned about through advertising, and fully two-thirds have received free samples of prescription drugs from their doctor—but they worry about the industry's influence on physicians, according to a Consumer Reports survey.

The phone survey of 1,154 US adults found concerns about industry (69%); docs rushing to prescribe drugs over alternative therapies (50%); gifts to docs (47%); and a tendency “to prescribe newer, more expensive drugs” (41%). Questions about industry bias aside, the survey revealed widespread concerns about drug costs and an alarming rate of non-compliance.

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