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Drug firms use education programs to pay physicians


The Boston Globe looks at the large piles of money that drug companies send to physicians via the continuing-education programs that doctors must attend to keep their licenses.

The Globe reports that “Federal law allows pharmaceutical and medical device companies to funnel millions of dollars a year, without disclosure, to doctors who teach continuing education programs. The conduits for the money are independent companies that sponsor medical lectures for doctors. Since 2011, drug industry payments to these outside companies have risen 25 percent, to $311 million in 2014. …”

“The biggest lobbying organization for doctors is fighting in Congress to keep those payments out of public view, backing a bill to derail an Obama administration push for more transparency. The lobbying group, the American Medical Association, says disclosure would unfairly stigmatize doctors who are leaders in their fields and deliver lectures on breakthroughs in medicine.”


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