Virginia Doctors Take $6 Million From Big Pharma | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

WAMU 88.5 : News

Filed Under:

Virginia Doctors Take $6 Million From Big Pharma

Play associated audio
Currently, seven of the more than 70 pharmaceutical companies operating in the United States disclose which doctors they pay to consult and promote their drugs.
Michael Pope
Currently, seven of the more than 70 pharmaceutical companies operating in the United States disclose which doctors they pay to consult and promote their drugs.

In Virginia, doctors have taken more than $6 million form seven drug companies over the last two years, according to a database compiled by ProPublica. But more transparency in on the way.

Currently, only seven of the more than 70 pharmaceutical companies operating in the United States disclose which doctors they pay to consult and promote their drugs. By 2013, they'll all be required to do so as part of the Physician Payments Sunshine Act, and more information is becoming available all the time.

For example, recent disclosures show that Dr. Farhad Zangeneh, an endocrinologist in Vienna, has received almost $230,000 from various drug companies over the last two years, including one speaking event for GlaxoSmithKline for $95,000. He declined to respond to multiple requests for an interview.

Critics of the practice say it undermines the medical profession. One such critic is Lisa Eckenwiler, associate professor of philosophy and director of health-care ethics at George Mason University.

"I think it's a conflict of interest because it creates the potential for patients to be adversely affected by having some sort of drug prescribed for them that isn't the one that they need the most," she says.

Doctors who take money from pharmaceutical companies disagree that the money presents a conflict of interest. Dr. Richard Ashby is a family practice physician in Alexandria.

"I kind of take offense to those who think that physicians, who are thought to be the brightest people, having to be supervised for influence," Ashby says.

By September of 2013, the Department of Health and Human Services will make all the information public and searchable.

NPR

The Colorful, Blossoming D.C. Arts Scene In The 1950s, '60s

In 1965 the work of six local painters went on exhibit at the now-defunct Washington Gallery of Modern Art. The show launched a movement, and the painters' work now hangs in major museums. One of those artists, now 97, lives in Arlington, Va.
NPR

Cash For Halloween Candy? Dentists' Buyback Program Is Booming

If you're like many parents, by tomorrow morning you'll be facing a candy glut. One possible solution? Sell it to a dentist participating in a program that sends candy care packages to troops.
NPR

For This Colorado Voter, Oil And Gas Debate Plays Out On His Property

Knocking on doors in Colorado, Steve Inskeep asks Antionio Covello about the election. The successful Denver business owner, a conservative, weighs mineral rights, foreign policy and division at home.
NPR

Selfies With Bears Prompt Warning From Park Rangers

Selfies with bears are showing up on Instagram. Rangers in South Lake Tahoe have been sufficiently worried to issue a warning: Wild bears are unpredictable, and could attack. #bearselfie

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.