WFAE 90.7 FM
Thursday October 21, 2010
Earlier this week, NPR and ProPublica released a database showing the flow of money from seven top drug makers to the doctors who prescribe those drugs. WFAE’s Julie Rose takes a closer look at one type of doctor getting a big slice of that money. Psychiatrists are only about 7 percent of all doctors in the country, according to a 2008 survey funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
But when you look at the doctors who made more than $100,000 consulting and speaking on behalf of major drug companies in the last 18 months, psychiatrists are more than a quarter of the list.
What is it that makes the health of the mind such an attractive target for pharmaceutical money? Adam Linker of the NC Justice Center has this theory.
“Some of these drugs are the most expensive,” notes Linker. “They’re some of the best-sellers and they’re driving some of the increases in drug costs. I think drug companies want to keep increasing those prescriptions.”
The anti-psychotic drug Zyprexa, for example, is Eli Lilly’s top-selling product. AstraZeneca has a top-seller, too. No surprise, then, that those two companies cut some of the largest checks to psychiatrists.
Most doctors deny their drug-company consulting work has any effect on the medicine they prescribe. But numerous studies have shown there is a link.
Read the rest of the article here: http://www.wfae.org/wfae/1_87_316.cfm?action=display&id=6578
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