The influence of the relationship between physicians and pharmaceutical companies on the patient from the point of view of policy-makers in Israel Academic Article uri icon


  • The relationship between doctors and pharmaceutical companies is an integral part of the health system in Israel and the whole world. The mutual need for such a relationship requires us, as a society, to examine its influence on the individual and the system as a whole. This research examines the relationship from the points of view of the relevant parties within the health system and outside the health system (decision-makers). The authors used in-depth interviews and qualitative research methods in order to examine and understand the various positions of decision-makers. The position of the decision-makers, regarding all the aspects of this relationship, expresses their wishes and depends on their point of view. The impact of the relationship between the doctors and the pharmaceutical companies was examined with regard to the prescription behavior of the doctor. All the government representatives, all the physicians' representatives and those of the health funds, believe that the physicians' prescription behavior is impacted by the relationship. There are those who perceive this to be a negative trend and some doctors believe it to be a positive trend. With regard to possible harm to the patient, the parties believe that the relationship does not harm the patient, whereas most of the government representatives identify harm to the patients, both on the economic and health levels. The authors believe that the "influence" which exists or could exist on the part of the pharmaceutical companies is the main stumbling block in this relationship, which is expressed in the decision-makers' perspective.

publication date

  • January 1, 2010