Is Your Doctor Also Working for a Drug Company?

How independent is your doctor when making a prescription choice for you?

On March 31, 2011 Merck revealed it paid $20.4 million to over 2088 physicians ($10,600 on average) in 2010 for speaking on its behalf.  These figures do not include what Schering Plough, acquired by Merck in 2009, paid to doctors.  This is  the same Merck who spent millions on doctors who prescribed the withdrawn Vioxx and the embattled Fosamax that is the subject of numerous suits around the Country and studies showing its causal relationship to femur fractures in women.

Following up Merck’s doctor-payment disclosures, Pfizer and GlaxoSmithKline announced their payments:

The world’s largest drugmaker, Pfizer spent $177 million to doctors in support for clinical trials and speaking fees. 4,600 physicians collected a total of $34.4 million, or $7,400 on average.  Broken down, that figure is comprised of $18 million in free meals for doctors, $8.9 million in advisory fees (paid to 1,400 doctors), $5.8 million for travel, and $1.7 million for education.

GSK’s (maker of the embattled Avandia) payments were only total of $85 million for trials and speaking.

Merck and Glaxo posted their numbers voluntarily, while Pfizer is required to disclose payments under its off-label marketing settlement with the U.S. Justice Department.

This office represents clients injured by Avandia (GSK) and Fosamax (Merck) and formerly represented numerous people injured by Vioxx (Merck).

Do you the patient have the right to know if your prescribing Doctor is working for the maker of the drug you are getting?

– read the Reuters article: Pfizer, GSK Paid $262 Million to U.S. Doctors in 2010

– or the article in the Wall Street Journal: Pfizer, Glaxo Disclose Fees to U.S. Doctors

– or in the Telegraph: GlaxoSmithKline Reveals Fees Paid to US Doctors

– or the Philadelphia Telegraph’s take:  Big Pharma Reveals How Much it Paid Doctors

Other Related Articles:
Merck pays 2,000-plus docs $20.4M for speaking
Study: Fewer doctors report industry ties
Live From BIO: Biotech, Pharma are living in a fishbowl
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