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Is your doctor getting rich off big Pharma?
Posted by: rgG
Date: February 11, 2015 01:43PM
Below is a link to a government website that lets you see just how much a doctor is getting paid by big pharma companies.

Apparently, as part of the affordable health care act, all pharma companies now have to report what they paid to every doctor. It also lists what the payment was for. Right now, I am not sure how far back it goes, but I think this is a great tool.

Luckily my husband's doctors are not getting hardly any money from big pharma, but it is good info to know.

Give it a look.

[openpaymentsdata.cms.gov]

By the way, I saw this on the John Oliver show, which you can stream for free online here, if you want to see the whole story.
[www.youtube.com]





Roswell, GA (Atlanta suburb)



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/11/2015 05:51PM by rgG.
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Re: Is your doctor getting rich off big Pharma?
Posted by: Robert M
Date: February 11, 2015 01:46PM
rgC,

My primary doctor doesn't come up at all. smiling smiley

Robert
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Re: Is your doctor getting rich off big Pharma?
Posted by: Lew Zealand
Date: February 11, 2015 01:55PM
1 food & drink for $21.12, two years ago. The reason I like my doc is that he's a straight shooter, no BS.
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Re: Is your doctor getting rich off big Pharma?
Posted by: rgG
Date: February 11, 2015 02:00PM
Quote
Robert M
rgC,

My primary doctor doesn't come up at all. smiling smiley

Robert

Yep, two of my husband's docs didn't come up at all, and the other two we checked were very minimal, like less than $200.





Roswell, GA (Atlanta suburb)
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Re: Is your doctor getting rich off big Pharma?
Posted by: space-time
Date: February 11, 2015 02:08PM
$336.change, from about a dozen or so payments, I wonder why they even bother.
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Re: Is your doctor getting rich off big Pharma?
Posted by: vision63
Date: February 11, 2015 02:19PM
Since I got crushes on both my dentist Paula and my main doctor Sheryl, I want them to get rich.
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Re: Is your doctor getting rich off big Pharma?
Posted by: steve...
Date: February 11, 2015 02:32PM
No results found.

I am satisfied with my doctor but I wonder if 'no results' is good because he didn't receive compensation or that he's eluded any record of it.

Having a public record is a good idea. thumbs up





Northern California Coast
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Re: Is your doctor getting rich off big Pharma?
Posted by: bazookaman
Date: February 11, 2015 02:49PM
Looks my primary care doc got $420 over the last few months in 2013 for food and beverages. With the minimal amounts looks like the rep took him out to eat somewhere like panera. Heh.



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Re: Is your doctor getting rich off big Pharma?
Posted by: testcase
Date: February 11, 2015 02:51PM
Quote
space-time
$336.change, from about a dozen or so payments, I wonder why they even bother.


I see my primary has "made" $405; all in "meals and entertainment". I know pharma reps routinely bring lunch to an MD's office to curry favor with the gatekeeper & staff. I'm guessing the money for this influence buying gets reported and tracked.
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Re: Is your doctor getting rich off big Pharma?
Posted by: space-time
Date: February 11, 2015 02:58PM
You're right, I looked again, most expenses are "Food and beverages". There is one labeled as education, $29.xx.
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Re: Is your doctor getting rich off big Pharma?
Posted by: billb
Date: February 11, 2015 03:09PM
Ooh, big pharma took clients out of their busy offices to discuss business over lunch ( maybe at the local strip club, who cares )
and if the doctor paid then he got the tax write off.

I suppose the era of free samples for struggling patients are gone now too.



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Re: Is your doctor getting rich off big Pharma?
Posted by: Speedy
Date: February 11, 2015 03:17PM
Another government program run amok. It's not like my doctor is going to prescribe chemotherapy for my plantar fascitus just because he gets a few bucks from Really, Really Big Pharma. Although I might view that test I got for osteosarcoma in a different light. Anyway, my doctor isn't quite on par with those getting the big bucks.

I like how the database allows for many types of searches as well as inexact matches. The biggest payment in my state went to:

Research Payment made to Mayo Clinic-Methodist Hospital
Payment Details
Payment Amount:$1,003,851.20

Company Submitting Payment Information:Bristol-Myers Squibb Company

Name of Research Study:GM-CSF and Ipilimumab as Second-line Therapy in Metastatic Melanoma, a Phase I-II Study



Saint Cloud, Minnesota, where the weather is wonderful even when it isn't.
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Re: Is your doctor getting rich off big Pharma?
Posted by: rgG
Date: February 11, 2015 03:20PM
Quote
billb
Ooh, big pharma took clients out of their busy offices to discuss business over lunch ( maybe at the local strip club, who cares )
and if the doctor paid then he got the tax write off.

I suppose the era of free samples for struggling patients are gone now too.

One doctor, it was reported on the show, got over $1,000,000. I would want to know this, if it were my doctor.
Feel free not to check out your doctor, but I think this is a great tool.





Roswell, GA (Atlanta suburb)



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/11/2015 03:21PM by rgG.
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Re: Is your doctor getting rich off big Pharma?
Posted by: Black
Date: February 11, 2015 03:27PM
Couldn't find my doc in there (assumon that means $0 paid). Looked up a bunch of docs I work with and found piddly total amounts with piddly charges e.g.:
AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals LP

Food and Beverage

08/12/2013

$17.82

Strikes me as sending cholcoates or dropping by with a tray of cookies from Costco. Bet the doc wasn't even in....




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Re: Is your doctor getting rich off big Pharma?
Posted by: sekker
Date: February 11, 2015 03:55PM
John Oliver strikes again!
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Re: Is your doctor getting rich off big Pharma?
Posted by: JoeM
Date: February 11, 2015 03:59PM
One doc I'm considering was listed as receiving 2 payments of $1.57 each under "education".
What could possibly cost $1.57? Postage?

BTW, thanks rgG, this is a great tool.



JoeM
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Re: Is your doctor getting rich off big Pharma?
Posted by: mrlynn
Date: February 11, 2015 05:01PM
I just looked up Dr Janie. She got $14.25 "in-kind services" for "education" in 2013 from Merck. That was it. I'm sure she will have no recollection what this was for. Maybe donuts for the staff?

Her current group does not allow drug reps to bring in lunches. We did at our own practice; they always brought in too much, so the staff loved it (though they were mostly too fat), and we took home the leftovers. The reps often brought in a specialist to provide some in-depth information on recent studies, etc. Even when it was just the reps, Dr Janie thought the luncheons were useful for the information provided. She would spend maybe 20 minutes with them, while eating.

The idea that these activities are corrupting is just absurd. Doctors are simply deluged with information, and it's worth it to the companies if they can get their attention for 20 minutes now and then, and the doctors benefit, too.

Used to be they would offer tickets to games or concerts in conjunction with a dinner and lecture. That was nice, because spouses were included, too. Alas, the holier-than-thou finger-waggers in government put the kibosh on those little perks.

/Mr Lynn



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Re: Is your doctor getting rich off big Pharma?
Posted by: cbelt3
Date: February 11, 2015 05:13PM
I'm pretty sure my doctor got those pens and post-its. He's as pissed at some of the Pharmanauts as I am. And his MS is in Pharmacy.
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Re: Is your doctor getting rich off big Pharma?
Posted by: tlh828
Date: February 11, 2015 05:21PM
I'm a doctor. The answer is NO!
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Re: Is your doctor getting rich off big Pharma?
Posted by: rz
Date: February 11, 2015 06:20PM
I used to work with a woman whose husband was a doctor, and I remember her telling me some pharma company paid all the expenses for a "medical conference" in the Bahamas. She just had to pay for her own airfare. Must be nice.
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Re: Is your doctor getting rich off big Pharma?
Posted by: Mike Johnson
Date: February 11, 2015 06:24PM
My wife doesn't show up but there was a year where she made something like $600 to be on a panel. She did it because she's a strong advocate for returning Bendectin to the market, and not because $600 seemed like a swank reward for spending three days in a hotel at the Houston airport. $600 would normally buy a couple hours of her time at most.
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Re: Is your doctor getting rich off big Pharma?
Posted by: Speedy
Date: February 11, 2015 06:50PM
Quote
mrlynn
Used to be they would offer tickets to games or concerts in conjunction with a dinner and lecture. That was nice, because spouses were included, too. Alas, the holier-than-thou finger-waggers in government put the kibosh on those little perks.

/Mr Lynn

Nothing beats cold, hard cash. Like politicians get from Big Pharma, the most profitable sector of our economy, more so than Big Oil and Silicon Valley.



Saint Cloud, Minnesota, where the weather is wonderful even when it isn't.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/11/2015 06:50PM by Speedy.
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Re: Is your doctor getting rich off big Pharma?
Posted by: GuyGene
Date: February 11, 2015 07:25PM
Quote
tlh828
I'm a doctor. The answer is NO!

Well doc, y'all boys sure are getting rich off something. I don't begrudge anything, but when I pay $1,100.00 per month for medical insurance, then pay more per year myself to docs and hospitals, then see our docs living in gated communities driving BMW, Porsche, Benz, etc., beach vacation house, etc., etc., I have to wonder. When I lived full time in Japan, I lived in the same neighborhood as my doctors. They made more money than me, but the gap was no where near as big as in America.

Ethyl's cardiologist was paid over $2,000.00 for various perks. Some high dollar trips, hotels, meals included.



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Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/11/2015 07:25PM by GuyGene.
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Re: Is your doctor getting rich off big Pharma?
Posted by: Article Accelerator
Date: February 11, 2015 09:09PM
Quote
vision63
Since I got crushes on both my dentist Paula and my main doctor Sheryl, I want them to get rich.

That's like me with Apple. I emoticon_love Apple.

See? We do think alike after all!
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Re: Is your doctor getting rich off big Pharma?
Posted by: JoeH
Date: February 11, 2015 09:18PM
The list at times looks more like an attempt to bury the information about the few bad actors in a pile of mundane reports of normal sales and informational activity. So most doctors and their practices might receive a few goodies adding up to at most a few hundred dollars. Makes it real hard to spot the ones who were giving or getting $10's of thousands and more to influence their choices and recommendations of medical treatments. Too bad they did not include a threshold for reporting such stuff.
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Re: Is your doctor getting rich off big Pharma?
Posted by: wowzer
Date: February 11, 2015 09:19PM
Doh! I showed up when I should not have. I went to talk to some of my docs and a drug rep brought food. For some reason, they put my name on the list for 9/2013. Boo hiss...I make it a point not to take anything from pharma. Oh well...I cannot claim to have never taken anything from pharma before.



$21.68 just in case anyone wanted to know....it certainly will not help me buy a new car. :-)



All I ever really needed to know, I learned from watching Star Trek.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/11/2015 09:20PM by wowzer.
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Re: Is your doctor getting rich off big Pharma?
Posted by: DavidS
Date: February 11, 2015 09:58PM
Proudly, neither I nor my wife are on the list. I believe her office still gets the occasional lunch and samples from drug reps, but I have not seen a drug rep in my office in over 10 years. We have a closed formulary, so they rarely, if ever, stopped by anyway. We effectively made them persona-non-grata around 2004.

It's been a LONG time since drug reps/companies were allowed to pay for trips/conferences, concert/theater/sports tickets, and basically anything more than a lunch platter. They are even restricted on giving out pens and note pads these days.

GuyGene - it sounds like you ARE begrudging physicians with your follow-up statements. My cars are a Volvo and a Honda Odyssey. Our only house is not in a gated community. My kids are all in public school, and it took my wife and I 10 years to pay off our student loans from undergrad and medical school.

You may see a lot of specialists who do get paid more than I, but that is no reason to generalize about the entire profession. I know many people who are "consultants" (whatever that means) who make quite a bit more than we do.

Personally, the doctor bashing that is all too common is uncalled for and unnecessary. I would not hesitate to say that the vast majority of physicians are paid well but certainly not overpaid for the work that we do. And with that, I'm off to finish my notes from the day and answer patient emails (at 11pm).



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/11/2015 09:59PM by DavidS.
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Re: Is your doctor getting rich off big Pharma?
Posted by: mrlynn
Date: February 11, 2015 11:00PM
Quote
DavidS
. . . Personally, the doctor bashing that is all too common is uncalled for and unnecessary. I would not hesitate to say that the vast majority of physicians are paid well but certainly not overpaid for the work that we do. And with that, I'm off to finish my notes from the day and answer patient emails (at 11pm).

Ditto. We had to close our three-provider practice because we couldn't afford to bring in another when one left, and we weren't making much money, either. Small-practice primary care is not viable these days, except maybe for concierge practices, because the overhead (read paperwork from third parties [private and government]) is overwhelming revenues. Specialists can do better, because they are not charged with patient management that is mostly unpaid.

We don't live in a gated community, either. My wife drives an '07 Subaru Outback. We did just buy a used 2013 Ford Expedition, so I guess that's a bit of a luxury, but it replaced a 15-year-old Chevy van, after the frame rusted out. Our kids all went to public school, too.

The idea that doctors (a) ever got rich from drug-company goodies and (b) were induced against their medical judgment to prescribe medications because of those goodies is a vile and outrageous slander.

PS I don't miss the lunches, but the sticky notepads and the pens used to come in handy. Any other business can hand out promotional freebies galore, but drug reps are no longer allowed to do so, say the nanny-staters among us. A pox on them. smiley-rpg028

/Mr Lynn
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Re: Is your doctor getting rich off big Pharma?
Posted by: Speedy
Date: February 11, 2015 11:08PM
I don't begrudge the docs a penny they earn. It's another story for the drug companies who get to charge retail for Medicate Part D paid drugs.



Saint Cloud, Minnesota, where the weather is wonderful even when it isn't.
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Re: Is your doctor getting rich off big Pharma?
Posted by: sekker
Date: February 12, 2015 10:09PM
Plenty of great physicians who earn their pay.

But drug companies are paying MORE for advertising than research, and their CUSTOMERS are doctors. All of that $$ has to find its way into the hands of these customers.

Glad to hear the stories posted here.

I'll pass along my exemplar description of a MD spouse complaining about new rules that 'took away their (company-paid) vacation.' As this new set of rules made all KINDS of paperwork and travel problems for me (a non-physician without any such perks), I was about to throw up when I heard her tell me this 'sob' story.

Good hospital systems tend to pay their doctors a salary and not by procedure - which tends to me patients with fewer surgeries, and physicians that don't earn $millions each year.

Other hospital look at these pharmaceutical payouts to give their physicians 'merit' bonuses.
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