Patients worry that pharma taints doctors' decisions

Another poll is showing that Americans skip drug doses to save money. More than 27 percent of adults told Consumer Reports that they'd skimped on their prescription meds, by forgoing doses, splitting pills to stretch their supplies, postponing refills and more.

Another part of the poll reported that Americans don't trust their doctors to think independently about prescription drugs, not when Big Pharma is involved. Almost 70 percent of consumers surveyed think drugmakers have too much influence on physicians, and 81 percent say they're worried about pharma gifts to--and financial relationships with--their doctors.

Half of the 1,150 people polled said they think doctors pick up their prescription pads too quickly, preferring drugs to non-pharma treatments such as lifestyle changes. Almost half said doctors are unduly influenced by gifts from drugmakers. Some 41 percent think doctors tend to prescribe newer, pricier drugs rather than older, cheaper alternatives.

Of course, as the Wall Street Journal Health Blog points out, people's answers to these sorts of poll questions depend heavily on just how the questions are worded and asked.

- see the Consumer Reports blog post
- check out the WSJ's take
- get more from the New York Times
- read the WebMD piece