There are certain professions in society that have always come with a great degree of public trust. A doctor is one that we have always looked at as someone we could always trust as it relates to the health of ourselves and our families.
However, a recent article detailing how some doctors are reaping huge payments from drug companies has given me pause. Essentially, doctors are being paid by drug companies to speak on the drugs behalf. These speaking engagements can net a doctor 1000-2000 per talk. According to the article, New York State ranks fourth in these payments with over 142 million dollars going to health care providers in a four-year period. And thanks to a provision in the new Obama health care law, these payments will now be made public by the pharmaceutical companies.
I dont’ know about you, but this alarms me on many levels, especially when studies have shown that doctors who receive even small payments can influence that doctors decision as to what brand of drug they prescribe. The medical community seems torn between doctors who say there is nothing wrong with the practice and those who say it is unethical.
How do you feel?