And things can be so different-- in Australia--
just recently- Doctors and pharmacists are no longer permitted to give away large promotional pens carrying drug company advertising.
Australia has a government subsidised prescription drug listing process, the envy of the "free" world. In fact seminars and lectures are given to foreign governments on how to beat the drug companies and avoid the US FDA disaster. It's so simple. All you need is acommittee of qualified informed people who can't be bought. Can't be infiltrated. (We have some.)
Part two consists of a simple rule. Any new drug proffered by Big Pharma to the Prescription listing committe must be significantly better than the existing subsidised medicine. Not just because a patent has expired lowering Big Pharma profits.
There is no prescription drug TV advertising here, either.
So Big Pharma can only win by improving their science.
Not bloody likely they said.
Big Pharma got the whole committee dismissed by appealing thru Free Trade rules that they have a right to massive profits in our country, subsidised by the tax payer, of course. So to "make it fair " a second fresh committee was formed, and they came up with the same winning Australian formula. Yeehaaa !
It's the same reason US drugs are much cheaper in Canada and Mexico.