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Doctors Earn Billions from Drug Companies
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Doctors Earn Billions from Drug Companies

Summary: An analysis shows that U.S. doctors and teaching hospitals made billions in 2013 from pharmaceutical companies and medical device makers.

According to the Huffington Post, in the United States, doctors and teaching hospitals earned a whopping $3.5 billion just in the last five months of 2013 from pharmaceutical companies and medical device makers. The information was disclosed by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) on Tuesday. The costs include travel, entertainment, research grants, consulting fees, speaking fees, and meals. About 40 percent of the payments reported did not include recipients due to concerns CMS had with data inconsistency.

  
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Roughly 4.4 million payments were made from healthcare companies to 546,000 physicians and 1,360 teaching hospitals. Due to President Obama’s 2010 healthcare reform law, the companies were required to disclose all payments of $10 or more to doctors, dentists, and other practitioners. These companies were also required to disclose such payments that had been made to teaching hospitals. The companies had until March to report payments made from August to December 2013. The law even required funds that physicians requested sent to a charity be reported.

The American Medical Association, along with other physician groups, had previously requested that CMS delay the release of the numbers by six months. They stated that errors could create a false impression about the influence of pharmaceutical and medical device companies on physicians.

However, both Republicans and Democrats agree that the law, the Physician Payments Sunshine provision, is necessary as making such information public will increase transparency in the medical field.

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Photo credit: drugfree.org





 

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