Big Pharma payments to doctors: Do they matter?


In 2008, the U.S. pharmceutical industry banned the small gifts -- pens, coffee cups, and other tokens -- to doctors and health care providers. The ban was voluntary and it did not limit other forms of payments like speaking and consulting fees.

In recent years, California doctors have received more than $26.4 million from just seven large pharmaceutical firms, according to data collected from company websites by the independent nonprofit investigative journalism outfit, ProPublica. See their report here.

NPR and ProPublica teamed up on a series of reports airing this week on KPCC, including one showing doctors with troubled backgrounds are among those receiving the payments.

How are you involved in medical payments or gift-giving? Are you a drug company rep who has been ordered to cut back on the food and freebies, or does the situation remain as in the past? Perhaps you work in a medical office and have sensed a change -- or not. Are you on the ProPublica list?

If you work in the medical world, KPCC would like to hear from you about the flow of money and gifts you see between drug companies and health care providers.