Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Tools: Drug-Makers Post Payments to Doctors
Is your doctor getting payments from pharma sales reps? U.S. pharmaceutical companies have had to agree to hundreds of millions of dollars in settlements with the U.S. government over their marketing practices for drugs. They have now started to reveal millions of dollars in payments they've given to doctors. The payments, which are poorly regulated in the U.S. and Canada, have sparked controversy (see my stories here and here) because research shows they can influence doctors' prescribing. Drug-maker Eli Lilly's registry of payments is here, and see here for Merck's list of payments. Medical-device makers have also been stung by similar controversy and have had to make large settlements with the U.S. government.
Pharmaceutical companies operating in Canada have yet to follow suit by revealing payments - or to be taken to task by Canadian authorities for their marketing practices here.