Tuesday, December 2, 2008

The Last to Know

We interupt this previously incredibly emotional and gut-wrenching blog to bring my physician colleagues a public service announcement.

Just like in middle school, I'm generally among the last to hear about things. So you may all already know about it.

(And yes, my life is just as schizophrenic as my blog. I wake up, cry through my shower, laugh through breakfast, make 4 phone calls on the way to work, tell a few hot flash jokes, see a few hours of patients, cry again, have lunch, do an I&D, see more patients, cry again, see more patients, come home, fold laundry, knit, drink wine, and laugh through Jon Stewart. Sorry you all are getting dragged through the muck with me.)

But this is exciting. The AMA has promoted something called PDRP, or Physician Data Restriction Program. It's sort of like the Do Not Call list for drug companies. Or not. They still call. BUT, they no longer have access to your prescribing information. (For those of you not in medicine, the pharmaceutical companies keep track of how often we prescribe what to see who they need to work, who they don't, and who is unworkable, like TBTAM.)

It's been going on for a few years. Not many docs have signed up. Maybe because we haven't heard about it? So there, now you've heard. Here's the link.

So I'm stoked. And signed up. Pfizer will only know for another month exactly how much Viagra I've been writing for.

Anyone else excited?


Anonymous said...

Dr. Smak, not being an MD, your info doesn't do a whole lot for me....but it's so good to hear from you...and glad you are getting plenty of wine and knitting.
I have now successfully turned my third heel. (and for those of you MDs who don't do much knitting, this info will not do a whole lot for you either)

JeanMac said...

Dr. Smak - I totally relate to your crying - it does help at the time - then one puts on the
"everything is fine face" til the next cry. Thinking of you.

...tom... said...


"... and who is unworkable, like TBTAM.)"

'TBTAM'..?? I just know I am missing something obvious.

Fun post. In places. For whatever reason... That is a 'good thing'.


Dr. Smak said...

K3P3 - I'm so proud of your heels. I specifically recommend against mixing them with the wine.

JeanMac - to everything it's season. Or 5 minutes, depending.

...tom...TBTAM is the abbreviation for The Blog That Ate Manhattan, a gynecologist in NYC who regularly spanks the pharmaceutical industry on her blog.

SOCKS said...

Looks like a sleepless night for you Dr Smak, and me.

A fun blog and I'm glad to see that.

THAT GIRL said...

There is nothing like an I&D to cheer you up... and I used to wear a stethescope tag for viagra (i started out as in er nurse... so drug reps were practically on staff) and this perv asked what I was going to listen to with that stethescope?... I threw it in the trash! lol.

TBTAM said...

What the AMA may not be advertising is that they are the ones who sold your information in the first place.


Not to Big Pharma directly, but to other stakeholders who then sell it to Big Pharma. It's big bucks for the AMA.

At least they are offering the opt out.

Jon Stewart - I have such the hots for that guy.

pisceshanna said...

Wow what an eye-opener. Its like someone going through your dirty laundry and judging you based on what color your underwear are!

Or maybe I have no clue what I'm talking about and I just really hate drug companies.

rlbates said...

Good post and great comments. Take care, Dr Smak

Dr. Smak said...


Great post that you referenced.

So the AMA is like the boyfriend that gives you a prescription for 2g of Zithromax to treat the chlamydia he gave you.


Bianca Castafiore said...

What precise information is collected from the prescription record? Any specifics about patients?

That the AMA gets to make out like a friend with fringe benefits is disgusting, but not surprising.

femail doc said...

I'm such a chump; I feel bad when I don't prescribe the drugs that the really nice reps are pushing. They ask me if I've tried it and they know and I know that I haven't. Now they won't know! A downside might be that we'd be taken off some of the reps call lists so no freebie samples for our patients that can't afford all their meds.

Your day sounds like a variation on that song...from The Music Man perhaps? Cry a little, laugh a little, fold a little, drink a little, knit, knit, knit, knit a lot cry a little bit. Life's wild, I'm glad to hear you've ups with your downs.