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Big Pharma Pays Physicians Handsomely Despite Their Questionable Credentials and Background

Published on Oct 22, 2010 at 5:53 pm in General Blogs.

This week ProPublica, an investigative reporting agency serving the public interest reported on doctors who receive big payments from pharmaceutical manufacturers. The article and its findings were reported nationally on National Public Radio earlier this week and reveals that many of the doctors on Big Pharma’s payroll lack credentials such as board certification or have been reprimanded or sanctioned for misconduct by their states’ medical boards. The story tells the shocking tale of several doctors who received payments ranging from $85,000 to a whopping $225,000 for speeches and other activities to promote drugs and other products who were sanctioned for improper conduct. The ProPublica investigation thus far has turned up hundreds of doctors who were sanctioned by state medical boards but who the industry continues to use as “experts” in their fields.

The most useful aspect of the ProPublica article is its public database of doctors who were paid by Big Pharma. The database can be searched by state. Running a search limited to Maryland physicians generated alist of 650 doctors who in total were paid more than $6 millions for consulting, speeches and other activities to promote drugs or industry interests. Thealphabetical list contains thenames, amounts paid, and by what companies. Some doctors receivedtriple digit payments.

We encourage our readers to take a look at the ProPublica story and search its database for physicians to see if yours is on there. What this says about your physician is obviously up to you to decide. According to the article, the data compilation is at its infancy and many more names will be compiled in the months and years to come. The article also notes the following about the data:

“ABOUT THIS DATA

The data below come directly from the disclosure web sites of 7 pharmaceutical companies. More than 70 other drug companies have yet to disclose similar payments. Receiving payments does not mean that a health professional has done anything wrong. Read more about the data and its limitations.”

Belsky, Weinberg & Horowitz is a plaintiffs’ personal injury law firm with offices across the state. Please visit out website or contact our attorneys should you wish to discuss your personal injury case.

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