Nearly a third of physicians say they prescribe a brand name drug when there is a generic equivalent, if a patient asks.
The survey of nearly two thousand doctors found thirty-seven percent met a patient's request for a brand name drug -- even though it costs thirty to eighty percent more than the generic.
Internal medicine physicians and psychiatrists, as well as those in a small practice, were more likely to write prescriptions for brand name drugs.
Researchers also found receiving free drug samples increased the practice.
Researchers say they could not prove a cause-and-effect relationship between drug company marketing and prescribing practices.