Crook Alert!! Drug and Medical Device Companies Are Bribing Our Doctors and Exerting Undue Influence on Research

What are these doctors hiding from us?

GlaxoSmithKline's Avandia Coverup

Why is Manoj Smiling?

Dr. Manoj V. Waikar, Stanford University Medical School
Dr. Manoj V. Waikar, Stanford University Medical School

How to cheat at everything.

Conflicts of Interest at Harvard Medical School??

Comment on Harvard Alumni Magazine article 9-15-09

  1. September 15, 2009

    I’m glad that President Drew Faust “is on it” wrt Harvard’s financial situation and endowment. However, I would have liked to hear that she’s “on it” wrt the shameful conflicts of interest arising out of improper financial relationships between Medical School professors and drug companies. The fact that the Medical School recently adopted a policy requiring advance permission from the school administration from students for contacts with the media indicates that the School has not come to grips with the situation, even though the policy has been rescinded. Newspaper accounts that Dean Jeffrey Flier sees no conflicts indicate that the matter requires the attention of President Faust and the Board of Overseers. Perhaps a search committee for a new dean should be established.

    ralph deeds, MBA 1960

4-29-09 Institute of Medicine Calls for Doctors to Stop Taking Gifts from Drug Makers

 The Institute of Medicine issued a critical report calling for doctors to stop taking money, free drug samples and other gifts from drug and medical device companies. "It is time for medical schools to end a number of long-accepted relationships and practices that create conflicts of interest, threaten the integrity of their missions and their reputations, and put public trust in jeopardy," the report concluded.

The report calls on Congress to pass legislation that would require drug and device makers to publicly disclose all pamyments made to doctors.

Drug companies spend billions of dollars wooing doctors--more than they spend on research or comsumer advertising. Much of this money is spent on giving doctors free drug samples, free food, free medical refresher courses and payments for marketing lectures. the Institute's report recommends that nearly all of these efforts end.

In a tiny nod to appease critics, last year several major drug companies agreed to stop giving pens, pads, and other gifts of small value, but defended other practices as valuable to doctors and patients. Here's a link to a NY Times article by Gardiner Harris on the Institute of Medicine's highly critical report.

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/29/health/policy/29drug.html?scp=3&sq=Gardiner%20harris&st=cse

Are Big Drug Companies Bribing Our Doctors and Medical Researchers?

Minnesota is the first of a few states to require drug companies to disclose payments to doctors. The records of these payments are quite revealing. From 1997 to 2005 drug makers paid more than 5,500 doctors, nurses and other health care workers in Minnesota at least $57 million. Another $40 million went to clinics, research centers and other organizations. The median payment per consultant was $1,000; more than 100 people received more than $100,000.

Doctors typically receive money for delivering lectures about drugs to other doctors. Some of the doctors receiving the most money sit on panels that prepare guidelines inctructing doctors nationwide about when to use medicines.

Comments:

"I hate to say it out loud, but it all comes down to ways to manipulate doctors."

Kathleen Slattery-Moschkau, former sales rep for Bristol-Meyers

"If a doctor says that he got flown to Maui, stayed at the Four Seasons--and it didn't influence him a bit? Please."

Jamie Reidy, a drug sales rep for Pfizer and Eli Lily who was fired in 2005 after writing a humorous book on his experiences.

"You're paying him for the talk. You're increasing his referral base so he's getting more patients. And you;re helping to develop his name. The hope in all this is that a silent quid quo pro is created. I've done so much for you, the only think I need from you is that you write more of my products."

Gene Carbona, who left Merck as a regional sales manager in 2001.

Between 1997 and 2005, Dr. Grimm earned more than $796,000 from drug companies. In 2003 alone, Pfizer paid Dr. Grimm more than $231,000. Pfizer markets Lipitor, a cholesterol drug that last year had $12.9 billion in sales, more than any other drug in the world.

Dr. Donald Hunninghake served on a government-sponsored advisory panel that wrote guidelines for when people should get cholesterol-lowering pills. The panel's 2004 recommendations that far more people get the drugs became controversial when it was revealed that eight of nine members had financial ties to drug makers. The full extent of those ties have never been revealed.

In 1988 alone, Pfizer paid Dr. Hunningshake $147,000, and he earned at least $420,000 from drug makers between 1997 and 2003.

Comment: Judges are expected to disqualify themselves from cases in which they have a personal interest or even an appearance of bias. Apparently medical ethics don't include such a rule or expectation.

Here's a link to a 3-21-07 NYTimes story by Gardner Harris and Janet Roberts:

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/03/21/us/21drug.html?_r=1&hp&oref=slogin

41 comments

HipHopHustler 8 years ago

I read on globalgrind.com that these companies are even bribing doctors in under developed countires to prescribe drugs patients don't even need with vacations, cars, cameras, and many more. A study found that drugs are wrongfully prescribed 50% of the time in these countries....


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 8 years ago Author

I can believe it.


amanda.downs 8 years ago

That's terrible, how can the call themselves doctors for wrongfully prescribing things like that. If those doctors are having that much trouble with finance they should talk to a financial consultant.

http://jacksfinancialconsultantlist.com


Dolores Monet profile image

Dolores Monet 7 years ago from East Coast, United States

This a terrible, disgusting story. You want to trust doctors, not think of them as tools of a large corporation. I read recently that the Big Flu Scare of, I think it was 2003, was just a marketing gimmick because the drug company that produced flu shots was left with a big backlog in their warehouses. They had expected a lot more people to get flu shots in 02 so were stuck with excess product.

Who can you believe anymore?


Webb.er 7 years ago

Five years ago, doctors were giving out Exelon to anyone who said they had a memory problem. It is for Alzheimer's patients. It causes hallucinations in 9% of test subjects. Now it is being aggressively advertised on TV. They will make billions, and I expect when the lawsuits start coming in, they will pay a few million, and think of another way to scam people.


Ralph Deeds 7 years ago

Thanks for your comment!


kay hebbourn profile image

kay hebbourn 6 years ago from The Lake District, England

Go for it! Loving this one!


breakfastpop profile image

breakfastpop 6 years ago

This is an old sad story. The industry even bribes front desk people with pizzas, more extravagant meals, medicines, pens, and other wasteful goodies. Great hub.


Portamenteff profile image

Portamenteff 6 years ago from Western Colorado, USA

"Qi bono?" -Latin for "who gets paid?" You've folowed the money and thus the true motive of our supposed scientists. Scientists are supposed to be ojective and look at evidence without bias. It appears they are biased here.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 6 years ago Author

The faculty at Harvard Medical School and other medical schools are among the biggest hogs feeding at the trough of the drug companies. The dean at Harvard doesn't see any problem, last I heard.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 6 years ago Author

Johnson & Johnson paid kickbacks to the nation’s largest nursing home pharmacy to increase the number of elderly patients taking the antipsychotic Risperdal and several other medications, according to a complaint filed Friday by the office of the United States attorney in Boston.

Risperdal is approved to treat schizophrenia, but not specifically approved to treat problems in elderly people with dementia.

The payments violated the federal anti-kickback statute and led Omnicare, a pharmacy company specializing in dispensing drugs to nursing home residents, to submit false claims to Medicaid, the complaint charged.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 6 years ago Author

Three years ago, Dr. Steven E. Nissen, a cardiologist at the Cleveland Clinic, conducted a landmark study that suggested that the best-selling diabetes drug Avandia raised the risk of heart attacks. The study led to a Congressional inquiry, stringent safety warnings, a sharp drop in the drug’s sales and a plunge in the share price of GlaxoSmithKline, Avandia’s maker.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/02/23/health/23niss.ht...


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 6 years ago Author

Professors at Harvard Medical School will no longer be able to take industry money to speak for drug or medical device companies or accept gifts, travel or meals under a new conflict-of-interest policy announced Wednesday.

NYTimes 7-22-10

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/22/business/22confl...


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 6 years ago Author

8-13-10 NYTimes--At least a dozen major drug and device makers are under investigation by federal prosecutors and securities regulators in a broadening inquiry of bribery allegations as to whether the companies may have made payments to foreign doctors and health officials.

In previous investigations, federal officials have charged that many of these kinds of payments were made to encourage doctors to order their products. In the United States, doctors routinely market drugs and devices to their colleagues and other health professionals at medical conventions and small gatherings in restaurants. Such consulting arrangements are legal in the United States as long as companies avoid paying doctors directly to write prescriptions.

But in most of the rest of the world, doctors are government employees. And even consulting arrangements that would be considered routine in the United States might violate the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, if the payments are outsized or the arrangements are not disclosed to governments.

http://prescriptions.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/08/13/...


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 6 years ago Author

Twenty-five out of 32 highly paid physician consultants to medical device companies in 2007, or their publishers, failed to reveal the financial connections in journal articles the following year, according to a study released on Monday.

The study compared major payments to consultants by orthopedic device companies with financial disclosures the consultants later made in medical journal articles, and found them lacking in public transparency.

“We found a massive, dramatic system failure,” said David J. Rothman, a professor and president of the Institute on Medicine as a Profession at Columbia University, who wrote the study with two other Columbia researchers, Susan Chimonas and Zachary Frosch.

The study, published on the Web site of The Archives of Internal Medicine, focused on 32 medical doctors and doctoral researchers who were each paid at least $1 million in 2007 and published one or more journal articles the next year.

Most of the doctors and most of the orthopedic journal articles did not disclose their financial relationships with companies, the study found.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 5 years ago Author

“What was going on in Baltimore is going on right now in every city in America,” said Dr. Steven Nissen, chief of cardiovascular medicine at the Cleveland Clinic, who said he routinely treats patients who have been given multiple unneeded stents. “We’re spending a fortune as a country on procedures that people don’t need.”


sdy53 profile image

sdy53 5 years ago

Well known that insurance companies dictates most of our medical treatments. It's a systemic profit versus health of the patient problem . Doctors have to pay for their progeny's braces :) . Your picture of the doctor smiling was a little unfair.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 5 years ago Author

Johnson & Johnson coughs up $70 million to settle criminal charges of bribing European doctors to use it's products.

The case is the latest in a string of criminal investigations into illegal marketing practices by drug and device makers. Companies have repeatedly settled allegations that they paid kickbacks to doctors in the United States to induce them to prescribe drugs for, or implant medical devices in, patients who are unaware of their doctors’ financial incentives.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/09/business/09drug....


DePuy Pinnacle Lawsuit 5 years ago

Would doctors truly allow themselves to be bribed by drug and medical device companies for financial purposes?

I personally have had a DePuy Pinnacle hip implant in the past after my doctor persuaded me to take the surgery. What's bothering me now are the ongoing lawsuits and complaints filed by those who were injured with the Pinnacle device. I'm still learning and reading more about its updates found on http://www.depuypinnaclelawsuit.com

What are your thoughts on the complaints filed by those injured on the Pinnacle device?


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 4 years ago Author

U.S. to Tell Drug Makers to Disclose Payments to Doctors - NYTimes.com

To head off medical conflicts of interest, the companies would be required to disclose what they pay doctors for research, consulting, speaking, travel and entertainment.


amie 4 years ago

I too was bribed by my doctor to use a Stryker implant. I required a revision surgery 4 years later secondary to loud squeaking and horrendous pain in right hip joint. Funny thing, when I presented with unrelenting pain after my initial hip surgery, my surgeon turned a blind eye and abandoned my care. It took me several years of digging to uncover his motivation, or lack of. Stryker Corp has paid this doctor in excess of 600k for a number of years now. I have seven years to write to the medical board. It has taken me 5 yeasr to regain the energy, composure and fortitude to go ahead with that act, after all of the pain and deceit I have experienced at the hand of this so-called physician.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 4 years ago Author

Thanks for your comment. Sorry for your bad experience.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 4 years ago Author

Drug Giant Is Fined $1.2 Billion in Risperdal Case - NYTimes.com

A judge fined Johnson & Johnson and a subsidiary after a jury found that the companies minimized or concealed the dangers associated with Risperdal, an antipsychotic drug.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 4 years ago Author

7-3-12NYTimes--GlaxoSmithKline Guilty in Criminal Case

GlaxoSmithKline Agrees to Pay $3 Billion in Fraud Settlement - NYTimes.com

In the largest settlement involving a pharmaceutical company, the British drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline agreed to plead guilty to criminal charges and pay $3 billion in fines for promoting its best-selling antidepressants for unapproved uses and failing to report safety data about a top diabetes drug, federal prosecutors announced Monday. The agreement also includes civil penalties for improper marketing of a half-dozen other drugs.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 3 years ago Author

1-20-12NYTimes--A Big Win for Amgen and a Loss for Taxpayers

Medicare Pricing Delay is Political Win for Amgen, Drug Maker - NYTimes.com

A provision buried in the fiscal bill passed earlier this month gives Amgen, the world’s largest biotechnology firm, more time to sell a lucrative kidney dialysis drug without price restraints.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 3 years ago Author

2-1-13NYTimes--Johnson & Johnson Accused of Blocking Generic Cancer Drug

Europe Says Johnson & Johnson Paid to Delay Generic Fentanyl - NYTimes.com

Johnson & Johnson and Novartis were accused of colluding to delay the availability of a less expensive version of a pain medication for cancer patients.


Lady Guinevere profile image

Lady Guinevere 3 years ago from West Virginia

We the people need to take a stand on this! Personally I have experienced that selling of pharms from physicians that I did not need at the time.That was done about 5 years ago. Dr's now are almost no better than those drug pushers on the streets.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 3 years ago Author

Very true! I don't know who's the worst--the banksters, Big Pharma, the health care insurance company parasites, the coal companies, the oil companies or billionaires like the Koch brothers who are polluting our political system as well as the air we breathe.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 3 years ago Author

2-2-13NYTimesOP-ED--"Health Care's Trick Coin"

Health Care’s Trick Coin - NYTimes.com

If I toss a coin, but hide the result every time it comes up tails, it looks as if I always throw heads. Johnson & Johnson and Roche refuse to release results of device and drug trials.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 3 years ago Author

2-19-12NYTimes EDITORIAL "Finding Out Who Pays Your Doctor"

Finding Out Who Pays Your Doctor - NYTimes.com

A new rule issued by the administration will let the public in on payments that influence treatment. The goal is to let the public know about payments that lead doctors to prescribe treatments that benefit them financially without benefit to patients.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 3 years ago Author

MotherJones "Glaxo's Avandia Coverup"

Glaxo's Avandia Cover-Up

GSK's actions "reflect a consistent pattern of objectionable behavior," Steve Nissen, chmn of Cleveland Clinic cardiology dept. They actively tried to hide this information from doctors & patients resulting in injury & death to 50k to 200K patients.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 3 years ago Author

4-28-13NYTimes EDITORIAL "Another Alleged Drug Kickback Scheme"

Another Alleged Drug Kickback Scheme - NYTimes.com

Federal lawsuits paint Novartis as a serial offender that violated laws and its own policies.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 3 years ago Author

5-30-13 Alternet "Meet the Doctor Big Pharma Can't Shut Up"

The pharmaceutical industry has compromised the Western medical establishment and hooked America on drugs. One psychiatrist is fighting back.


Lady Guinevere profile image

Lady Guinevere 3 years ago from West Virginia

Shared to my FB and Twitter.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 3 years ago Author

Forest Labs Reports Payments to Physicians Under Sunshine Act

Physician Payment Sunshine: Forest Labs Reports Payments to Physicians

Payments by the company included those for consulting fees, speaking fees, travel expenses, educational items, meals, and independent physician research funding. These payments, in effect, are inducements to doctors for prescribing Forest Labs drugs rather than equivalent, less expensive generics. This runs up to cost to Medicare, Medicaid and health care insurance. Other drug companies make similar payments to physicians.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 3 years ago Author

ProPublica Website--Check Here to See if Your Doctor is Being Paid by Pharmaceutical Companies

Dollars for Docs - ProPublica

ProPublica has compiled the disclosed payments from pharma companies to doctors and other health care providers. Search for your doctor in our interactive database.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 3 years ago Author

7-22-13Glaxo Says its Executives May Have Broken Chinese Law

Glaxo Says Executives May Have Broken Chinese Law - NYTimes.com

The statement comes amid signs that other drug makers including Merck and Roche could also come under scrutiny from the authorities in China.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 3 years ago Author

The economic root cause is simple: the purchasing organizations have squeezed manufacturers’ operating margins to razor-thin levels. By awarding select suppliers exclusive contracts in return for exorbitant (and undisclosed) “administrative,” marketing and other fees, they have reduced the number of suppliers to just one or two for many generics. Further, they’ve crimped investment in maintenance and quality control, resulting in adverse F.D.A. inspections and plant closings.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 2 years ago Author

10-13-13NYTimes "The Soaring Cost of a Simple Breath" (How Drug Companies are Screwing America)

The Soaring Cost of a Simple Breath - NYTimes.com

The high price of commonly used medications for conditions like asthma contributes heavily to health care costs and certainly causes more widespread anguish.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 2 years ago Author

10-17-13NYTimes "The Myth of the Medical Device Tax"

The Myth of the Medical-Device Tax - NYTimes.com

What's actually raising health care costs is a predatory industry.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 2 years ago Author

12-17-13NYTimes--GlaxoSmithKline to Stop Paying Doctors to Promote its Drugs

Glaxo Says It Will Stop Paying Doctors to Promote Drugs - NYTimes.com

The announcement, an apparent first for a major drug company, would end a common practice that is criticized for posing a conflict of interest.

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