A recent NPR report, Industry Payments To Doctors Are Ingrained, Federal Data Show, provides a link detailing payments by drug and device companies to U.S. doctors and teaching hospitals. Doctors may be paid for promotional speaking, consulting, travel expenses, and meals.
If you want to see how much is reported for each doctor, check out the ProPublica Dollars for Doctors database.
Here’s a screenshot:
The article notes that the a close relationship between doctors and pharmaceutical companies is important. “Collaboration between physicians and biopharmaceutical professionals is critical to improving the health and quality of life of patients.”
Take-home point: Some financial relationships between doctors and pharmaceutical companies lead to important improvements in drug (or device) development; other relationships may alter prescribing habits without apparent patient benefit. Will this information empower patients to ask why their physicians has close ties to the pharmaceutical industry?
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