Pharma Compliance Info Drugmakers funnel payments to high-prescribing doctors US Sunshine Act

Drugmakers funnel payments to high-prescribing doctors

Nearly one-quarter of Medicare’s top-prescribing physicians received consulting fees or other financial perks from manufacturers of the drugs they prescribed in 2013, renewing nagging questions about conflicts of interest in medical decisionmaking.
More than 400 physicians prescribed at least $1 million worth of drugs in the Medicare Part D drug benefit program, and 23% of them accepted some form of a non-research payment from the corresponding drugmaker in 2013, according to a Modern Healthcare analysis of the CMS‘ recent Part D data release and of the Open Payments database.
Some experts say these correlations suggest an unholy linkage between prescribing behavior and industry payments to doctors. But others caution that it’s hard to draw conclusions without more detailed information about the physicians’ practices and the nature of the financial relationships, such as whether the payments are for research or marketing purposes.
“It is frankly magical thinking to believe that those two things are not related,” said Eric Campbell, a Harvard Medical School sociologist who studies conflicts of interest in healthcare. “It’s just completely not in the realm of reality to deny—when you see over and over that the highest-paid speakers are among the ranks of the highest prescribers—that there isn’t a relationship there.”
To read the article by Bob Herman

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