Sunday, February 27, 2011

Dollars for Docs

I've been meaning to share this link for a while, but I just now got around to it (i.e. I should be studying for midterms but I'm procrastinating). If you follow this link and look in the light blue box on the right, you can enter a doctor's name and state to see if they've received money from certain pharma companies that have disclosed payments for things such as speaking engagements.

I was not surprised to find that one of my former neuros (who was not exactly my favorite), received $92,000 last year for speaking engagements at a local pharma company. This seems to be a conflict of interest, since the company makes migraine drugs which the neuro prescribes. But at the same time, if (that's a big "if") neurologists are helping to increase migraine research by giving speeches to researchers, then maybe (that's a big "maybe") it's a good thing.

All I know is that's a huge chunk of money!

Good news: This Wednesday (March 2) I'll be doing a giveaway! Check back for your chance to win a new migraine book! :)


WinnyNinny PooPoo said...

Whew! Mine only had about $5000 for speaking engagements for Eli Lilly I knew he was doing a study for. Thanks for the link! good luck on your midterms!!

Jessica said...

I checked it previous neuro was paid $12,000...not surprising...but not too bad.

My pain management specialist and the new neuro I am going to see in March were not in the database.

Diana Lee said...

My feeling is that some docs are probably on the up and up with the money and some are probably swayed. Taking pharma money doesn't have to be an indictment, but it's important for them to be cognizant of their behavior if they do take pharma money.

jasminepw said...

Thank you Heather for spreading the word about this important topic, especially to those of us with chronic pain who desperately want to trust that every doctor we see is looking out for our best interest - not Pfizer's or Eli Lilly's.

Doctors should be up front with their patients if they are receiving funds from pharmaceutical companies, especially if they're pushing the very drugs that company makes.

The issue of whether or not a doctor might favor a particular brand-named drug due to kickbacks is tame compared to the never-discussed-on-health-forums topic of corruption and fraud in the pharmaceutical industry. Our doctors aren't always given the whole story regarding safety and efficacy of the medications they prescribe to all of us. That is why patients need to empower themselves to probe deeper. After all, it's our bodies that these drugs go into - not the doctors or drug companies. We ultimately suffer if we have an adverse reaction while the industry makes huge profits, and gets slapped with small fines and zero jail time. Great video, if anyone's interested:

Jen said...

Hey Heather! I just found your blog and e-mailed you the other day :) Thansk for staring this blog for those of us who struggle with headahces constantly! I can defnitely relate with you! hope to hear back from you! - Jen

Heather said...

Thanks Winny, I need lots of luck on my midterms!

Jessica - a lot of my docs weren't on there either, probably because they either don't take payments or they do but from companies not represented in this database. Good luck with the new specialist and neuro!

Diana - well said.

Thanks for posting that video link, Jasmine. The video does a great job informing everyone of the corruption in the pharma industry!

Jen - Thanks for your comment; I should check my e-mail more often and will start by doing that right now! :)