Medical Prostitution: Doctors On the Take–Minnesora an example, NYT

Wednesday, 21 March 2007
Minnesota is the first of a handful of states to pass a law requiring drug manufacturers to disclose payments to doctors.
The information thus obtained is the focus of a front page report in The New
York Times. The accompanying graphic provides a Birdseye view of the highest trafficking
medical specialties who are debasing their profession–we call it,
prostituting for drug business.

Dr. Richard Grimm of the Berman Center for Outcomes and Clinical Research in
Minneapolis, has twice served on government-sponsored hypertension panels
that create guidelines about when to prescribe blood pressure pills. Last
year, he served on a National Kidney Foundation panel that wrote guidelines
about when kidney patients should be given cholesterol pills.

Guidelines that suggest greater use of these drugs would be a huge boon to
Pfizer who makes both Lipitor, a cholesterol drug, and Norvasc, a
hypertension drug. The Times reports that between 1997 and 2005, Dr. Grimm
earned more than $798,000 from drug companies:  In 2003 alone, Pfizer paid
Dr. Grimm more than $231,000: Lipitor sales that last year had $12.9
billion, more than any other drug in the world.; and Norvasc had sales last
year of $4.9 billion.

Read More….


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