An article in Management in Practice reports on a paper (by Ramkumar Janakiraman, Shantanu Dutta, Catarina Sismeiro, and Philip Stern) in the June 2008 issue of Management Science that analyzes how physicians prescribe anti-depressants. It appears that physicians are creatures of habit.
More than 9,000 prescriptions were filed, which identified a third of GPs as “responsive” prescribers who took into account their patients’ specific needs, and 60% as “inertial” prescribers who did not necessarily make fully informed decisions.
The findings suggest that inertial physicians stopped paying attention to new research findings once they opt for a specific brand and persistently prescribe a few chosen drugs even when facing different patients who might have different needs.
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