Is your Doctor in Bed with Pharma?

A reader of my newsletter recently clued me in to something fascinating (and equally disturbing). Many of our doctors – yours and mine – are getting kickbacks from pharmaceutical companies. In fact, some doctors take millions of dollars a year from drug manufacturers.

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In an effort to try to figure out if my doctor’s recommendation for me to a try a new MS drug was because he thought it was good for me or whether he might be influenced by the drug’s maker, I went to a website to find out. You can search for your doctor and figure out just how much money he or she gets annually. Click here to start. And then click on your doctor’s name to see a detailed description of what company gave them money and when.

Why do pharma companies give doctors money? Hopefully, it’s so they can run clinical trials and report back the results (good and bad) of the drugs. But if the doctors are receiving ridiculous amounts of cash, it’s hard to imagine that they would be completely impartial.

Interestingly, I found that my doctor who pushes less drugs takes more money (but he does work for a research hospital). He got $111,000 last year. My more aggressive (i.e. likes to prescribe) doctor took just $13,969. Both numbers seem like a lot, but when you see that Dr. Sujata Narayan of San Diego, California got a whopping $43,860,020, it’s less disturbing. (Yes, that’s $43 MILLION.)

Do some research on your doctors. And next time you’re visiting, ask them what they’re using that money for. Then, take a picture of the look of surprise on their faces and send it to me. I might start a tumbler account for it.

In health, 

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