Wednesday, March 21, 2007

The Doctor Is In (Big Pharma's Pocket)

The New York Times has a compelling – and disturbing story – about how pharmaceutical companies are buying doctors.

The story is based on public records from Minnesota, one of the first states to require that doctors reveal their ties to drug companies.

Money quote:

" . . . The Minnesota records are a window on the widespread financial ties between pharmaceutical companies and the doctors who prescribe and recommend their products. Patient advocacy groups and many doctors themselves have long complained that drug companies exert undue influence on doctors, but the extent of such payments has been hard to quantify.

"The Minnesota records begin in 1997. From then through 2005, drug makers paid more than 5,500 doctors, nurses and other health care workers in the state at least $57 million. Another $40 million went to clinics, research centers and other organizations. More than 20 percent of the state’s licensed physicians received money. The median payment per consultant was $1,000; more than 100 people received more than $100,000."

Click here for more.

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