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 Post subject: Drs & drug companies
PostPosted: Wed Oct 23, 2019 2:11 pm 
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Pharma's 700 MD Millionaires

More than 700 physicians have made at least $1 million from industry since the government's Open Payments database started publicly tracking those relationships five years ago, a ProPublica investigation found.

Over 2,500 physicians received at least $500,000 each from drugmakers and medical device companies during that time.

The ProPublica analysis covered more than 56 million payments made from 2014 to 2018, the first 5 years of Open Payments data.

Some experts have mused that making such data publicly available might cause companies to think twice about the payments they dole out, and make doctors rethink taking that money. But the analysis shows little change, with companies still hiring doctors for dinner talks, sponsored speeches, and consulting. There's been almost no change in how much industry spends, with each of the five years tallying $2.1 to $2.2 billion in payments, and about the same number of doctors (600,000) receiving payments in any given year.

Despite perceptions that drug company payments are benign, many drugmakers have recently paid fines to resolve allegations around their marketing practices, ProPublica noted.

In June, Insys paid a $2-million fine and agreed to forfeit $28 million and pay an additional $195 million to settle a separate whistleblower case. Prosecutors said the firm paid doctors for educational lunches and dinners that the Department of Justice called "a vehicle to pay bribes and kickbacks to targeted practitioners in exchange for increased Subsys prescriptions to patients and for increased dosage of those prescriptions."

And last month, Avanir Pharmaceuticals agreed to pay $108 million, admitting it paid kickbacks to doctors and marketed the drug for unapproved uses.

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