Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Follow-up (Raking it in)

The June 26th, 2013 blog entry "Raking it in..." rightly pointed out the incredible shallowness of some of the reporting in a ProPublica report - 'Top Medicare Prescribers Rake In Speaking Fees From Drugmakers' - that looked at pharma payments to physicians...

Now an article, 'Data Dive Finds Doctors For Rent'  references an analysis "First, Do No Harm: Financial Conflicts in Medicine" that does some real number-crunching. Its conclusion?

"... Using data from twelve drug companies, more than 330,000 physicians and nearly one billion prescriptions, we find that when a drug company pays a doctor he is more likely to prescribe that company's drugs... A payment from a pharmaceutical company corresponds to, on average, an additional 29 Medicare prescriptions per year, and this number rises to nearly 100 prescriptions if the payment is at least $1,000."

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