Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Opioid Drug Companies Paid Doctors $46 Million Between 2013 and 2015

And Opioid Use Increased

It’s no secret that pharmaceutical companies pay out huge sums to doctors.  And now a study has determined that they have made payments in connection with prescriptions for opioids.

One in 12 doctors has received money from drug companies marketing prescription opioid medications, according to a study released Wednesday afternoon.

Researchers at Boston Medical Center found that from 2013 to 2015, 68,177 doctors received more than $46 million in payments from drug companies pushing powerful painkillers. Researchers believe it is the first study to look at the practice of pharmaceutical companies marketing opioids to physicians.

Now there are or can be legitimate reasons for drug companies to support doctors who prescribe addiction prone drugs, primarily to educate those doctors to prescribe safely.  That does not seem to be the situation here.

According to Hadland’s study, which was published in the American Journal of Public Health, about two-thirds of the payments came from speaking fees. About 700 doctors raked in nearly 83 percent of the total money spent marketing to physicians.

But really, is anyone comfortable with these numbers? 

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