Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Gotta make the sales

Why else would pharmaceutical companies pay physicians for consulting and other activities? It doesn't matter much whether the doctors are in good standing with government agencies. ProPublica did a study of disciplinary records between August 2013 and December 2015 for doctors in five states, California, Texas, New York, Florida and New Jersey. It discovered that 400 pharmaceutical and medical device makers made payments to at least 2,300 doctors after they were disciplined by their state medical boards.

While many doctors were sanctioned for minor offenses such as failing to attend required continuing medical education courses, hundreds were disciplined for more severe offenses, including providing poor care, inappropriately prescribing addictive medications, bilking public insurance programs, and even sexual misconduct. At least 40 physicians had their licenses revoked or surrendered them, in most cases permanently. More than 180 had their licenses temporarily suspended or restricted. Almost 250 were placed on probation.

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