Doctors May Not All Be Big Pharma's Friends in Healthcare Reform Debate

Last Updated Jul 13, 2009 1:28 PM EDT

As the battle over healthcare reform rages in Washington, some of the groups that claim to speak for drug companies and doctors are instead annoying each other: Separately, the three events don't say much about the sway of Big Pharma in the health reform debate. But taken together, they suggest that doctors have very different opinions about reform than the lobby groups and companies who often claim to speak for them.

A Sermo survey of doctors -- taken after its fight with the AMA, so read with a pinch of salt -- said:

* 75% of physicians surveyed are not members of the AMA. * 89% of physicians claim, "The AMA does not speak for me." * 91% of physicians surveyed do not believe the AMA accurately reflects their opinion as physicians.
As KevinMD points out, not all docs want to stay on the pay-for-service treadmill that has so benefitted drug companies (why else would they have spent so many years marketing the AWP spread?).

Some, like the ACP, are supporting single-payor systems. While the drug companies are better organized and better finded than almost anyone in the fight -- except perhaps healthcare companies -- they may find fewer automatic opponents of a "government-run plan" than they thought.