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Healthy Skepticism Library item: 20462

Warning: This library includes all items relevant to health product marketing that we are aware of regardless of quality. Often we do not agree with all or part of the contents.

 

Publication type: Journal Article

Brauser D
Psychiatrists Top List of Big Pharma Payments Again
Medscape 2013 Mar 14;
http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/780835


Abstract:

Once again, psychiatrists top the updated Dollars for Docs list of large
payments from pharmaceutical companies to individual US clinicians.

On March 12, the investigative journalism group ProPublica released the
names of the 22 physicians who, since 2009, received more than $500,000 from
these companies in speaking and consulting fees. Mirroring the
organization’s first report released in 2010, psychiatrists dominate the
list.

This time, the top recipient was Jon Draud, MD, medical director of the
psychiatric and addiction medicine program at Baptist Hospital in Nashville,
Tennessee, and from the Middle Tennessee Medical Center in Murfreesboro.

According to the database, Dr. Draud has received a total of $1,009,213 from
AstraZeneca, Cephalon, Eli Lilly, Forest, Merck, Novartis, and Pfizer —
which is about $278,000 more than the amount received by the number 2
doctor. As noted by ProPublica, these figures do not include travel, meal,
or research expenses.

The third and fourth spots are also psychiatrists, and in fact, 12 of the 22
are from this specialty.

APA Reaction

“My immediate, honest response was that this boggles the mind,” James
Scully, MD, CEO of the American Psychiatric Association (APA), told Medscape
Medical News.

“It surprises me because we’ve made so many changes in what we’ve done here
at the APA. Most of the leaders in the field and the leading researchers in
the academic world have really looked at the role of pharmaceutical
industries and the way they work with physicians. And they have struggled
with how to do this the right way and maintain the public trust,” added Dr.
Scully.

Clearly, however, there are others out there who are still working closely
with industry. That’s perfectly legal. But it’s important to have open
communication. If people want to do marketing for drug companies, they need
to be clear that that’s what they’re doing.”

The other 10 spots on the list are held by 2 directors of pain management, a
podiatrist, an allergist, a cardiologist, a pulmonologist, an associate
professor of hematologic malignancies, a critical care surgeon, an
endocrinologist, and a specialist in infectious diseases.

Of the 12 psychiatrists among ProPublica’s top 22 pharma payment recipients,
3 are from New York, 2 from Tennessee, 2 from Texas, and 1 each from the
states of New Hampshire, California, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and South Carolina.

The list’s number 3 position is occupied by John J. Miller, MD, medical
director of Brain Health in Exeter, New Hampshire, and a staff psychiatrist
at Seacoast Mental Center. The report notes that he received $669,935 since
2009 from AstraZeneca, Forest, and Pfizer.

The number 4 position belongs to Gustavo Alva, MD, founder and medical
director of ATP Clinical Research in Costa Mesa, California, and former
associate professor of psychiatry at the University of California, Irvine.
He received $663,751 from the same companies as Dr. Miller as well as from
Johnson & Johnson, Eli Lilly, Merck, and Novartis.

For others, see: http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/780835_2

 

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Cases of wilful misrepresentation are a rarity in medical advertising. For every advertisement in which nonexistent doctors are called on to testify or deliberately irrelevant references are bunched up in [fine print], you will find a hundred or more whose greatest offenses are unquestioning enthusiasm and the skill to communicate it.

The best defence the physician can muster against this kind of advertising is a healthy skepticism and a willingness, not always apparent in the past, to do his homework. He must cultivate a flair for spotting the logical loophole, the invalid clinical trial, the unreliable or meaningless testimonial, the unneeded improvement and the unlikely claim. Above all, he must develop greater resistance to the lure of the fashionable and the new.
- Pierre R. Garai (advertising executive) 1963