Big Pharma Pays Doctors To Market Drugs
Doctors Given More Than $8 Billion by Drug and Medical Device Companies
July 17, 2017
The federal government’s Open Payments initiative has revealed that the makers of drugs and medical devices paid $8.2 billion in 2016 to doctors and teaching hospitals for the marketing and research of their products. The sum includes more than $2 billion in disputed payments.
$2.8 billion went to speaker fees, consulting, travel, meals, and gifts; $4.4 billion for research payments; and $1 billion was paid in the form of ownership interests (e.g., shares of stock) in the companies.
Almost 1500 companies made payments, though the great majority was from just a few dozen corporations. Pharmaceutical and medical-devices giants such as Genentech ($534 million), Novartis ($471 million), Pfizer ($475 million), AstraZeneca ($270 million), Merck ($302 million), and AbbVie ($171 million) led the pack in spending.
Recipients of the money included more than 600,000 physicians and more than 1100 teaching hospitals.
The goal of the Open Payments initiative, an arm of the Affordable Care Act, is to make transparent the agreements between doctors and drug/device manufacturers.
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