Examining Financial Ties Between Physicians, Pharmaceutical Industry

Ruzanna Harutyunyan's picture
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The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel recently published a series titled, "Side Effects -- Are Doctors' Loyalties Divided?" that examines issues related to financial ties between physicians and pharmaceutical companies. Headlines and summaries appear below.

* "Doctors Face Pressure To Disclose All Side Pay": The article examines how "dozens" of University of Wisconsin-Madison physicians receive payments from pharmaceutical companies to serve on advisory boards or provide promotional and educational services, a practice that "is coming under increased scrutiny" (Fauber [1], Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 1/11).

* "UW Psychiatrist Paid To Speak About Disputed Anti-Smoking Pill": The article profiles Eric Heiligenstein, a University of Wisconsin-Madison psychiatrist who in 2007 received as much as $20,000 from Pfizer to speak about the smoking cessation medication Chantix (Fauber [2], Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 1/11).

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* "UW Researcher in Clinical Trial Consults for Medical Firm": The article examines how James Gern, a University of Wisconsin-Madison professor of pediatrics and an allergy and asthma specialist, led a clinical trial funded by Merck and at the same time received between $35,000 and $70,000 over several years to work as a speaker and consultant for the company (Fauber [3], Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 1/11).

* "Drug Firms Wine, Dine and Pay Up for Doctors' Speeches": The article examines criticism of physicians who receive payments from pharmaceutical companies and concerns that the practice "can influence patient care and raise the cost of treatment, in addition to blurring the line between research and marketing" (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 1/12).

* "UW Doctors Speak for Drug Companies: Three Employees' Disclosure Forms Offer Examples of Side Jobs": The article details the financial ties between pharmaceutical companies and three University of Wisconsin-Madison physicians -- Allan Rifkin, a staff physician at University Health Services; James Runo, director of a pulmonary clinic; and anesthesiologist Richard Wolman (Fauber, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 1/12).

Reprinted with permission from kaisernetwork.org. You can view the entire Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report, search the archives, and sign up for email delivery at kaisernetwork.org/email . The Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report is published for kaisernetwork.org, a free service of The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. © 2007 Advisory Board Company and Kaiser Family Foundation. All rights reserved.

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