A ProPublica analysis shows that more than 1,300 practitioners nationwide received both research money and speaking or consulting fees from the same drug maker in 2012. All told, they received more than $90 million in research grants — plus nearly $13 million for speaking engagements and another $4 million for consulting.
Critics say doctors who conduct a clinical trial while accepting
personal payments from the company sponsoring the study can feel
beholden to the drug maker.
“The pharmaceutical company has a paramount stake in a favorable
outcome. The [research] grant recipient has a stake in a favorable
outcome and the honorarium recipient or consultant has yet another stake
in the outcome,” said David Rothman, director of the Center for
Medicine as a Profession at Columbia University. “It’s not only my lab.
It’s my mortgage.”
ProPublica used its Dollars for Docs
database, which tracks payments to practitioners by 15 drug companies,
to conduct the review. Not every company discloses all types of payments
— research, speaking and consulting — or distinguishes between the
types. The analysis covered the nine companies that disclosed payments
in this form.
Golan, an infectious disease specialist, was the only doctor who
received speaking, consulting, and research payments from three
companies in 2012, the most recent year for which data has been
compiled. Pfizer, Merck, and Forest Labs gave Tufts $51,000 for his
research that year, in addition to paying him $125,000 to speak about
their drugs and $13,000 for consulting. His speaking fees ranked second
nationally among all the researchers examined, and his total personal
payments ranked fourth.
Taken from a detailed article here