Now you can look up the names of specific doctors, hospitals, or university research centers to see if a drug company has paid them any money? You can search by name and state on a site called ProPublica which has gathered this data for easy access. Visit their page: Dollars for Docs - How Industry Dollars Reach Your Doctors, and find out specific dollar amounts. $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$
They mention that $760 million from 12 pharmaceutical companies have been paid to physicians and other health-care providers for consulting, speaking, research and expenses. This page: “About the Dollars for Docs Data” tells more interesting details about their data.
But the real question we’re wondering when this “Drug-companies-Paying- Doctors” issue comes up is: “Do these payments cause a conflict of interest that patients should be concerned about?” NPR posted an article called: How To Win Doctors And Influence Prescriptions, which answers this disturbing question.
Now, my website’s main interest is patient safety: Will a patient be helped or harmed by a medication? So, if we have doctors under the influence of drug companies, as we see happening in the NPR story, and if the doctors are more likely to prescribe meds pushed by the drug company reps, consider what happens when they prescribe psychiatric medications like SSRI antidepressants that Irving Kirsch talks about in his book: The Emperor’s New Drugs - Exploding the Antidepressant Myth.
As I’ve mentioned elsewhere on this site, consider the alarming case of the Prozac label and how it was changed just before Prozac was put on the market, and you get a clear message.
Here are some articles using data found at ProPublica:
Docs Paid Millions by Drug Firms - Defend Speaking Fees, Deny Conflict
How Much Are Pharmaceutical Companies Paying Your Doctor?
Is Your Doctor Pushing Pills?
So, have you searched for your doctor or psychiatrist on the Propublica website yet?
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Books about medication dangers
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Medication Madness - A fascinating and alarming book that opens your eyes to the invisible dangers of antidepressants your family and friends may be taking.
Funny Videos about Medication Commercials - if you want a good laugh.