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Piercing the Veil, More Drug Companies Reveal Payments to Doctors

An update of ProPublica’s Dollars for Docs database includes more than $760 million in payments from 12 pharmaceutical companies to physicians and other health-care providers for consulting, speaking, research and expenses.

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Eight pharmaceutical companies, including the nation's three largest, doled out more than $220 million last year to promotional speakers for their products, according to a ProPublica analysis of company data.

For the first time, all these companies have reported a full year of payments, allowing for head-to-head comparisons of how much they spent on physicians to help push their pills. Some appear to be paring back.

Firms with the highest U.S. sales last year didn't spend the most on physician marketers. Industry leader Pfizer, with sales of $26.2 billion, spent $34.4 million on speakers, ranking third among the eight companies. By comparison, Eli Lilly and Co. spent the most on speakers, $61.5 million, even though its sales were about half of Pfizer's.

"We continue to believe in the benefits and value that educational programs led by physicians provide to patient care," Lilly spokesman J. Scott MacGregor said in an email.

The data provide a preview of what the public can expect to see in 2013, when all drug and medical-device companies -- potentially hundreds -- must report such figures to the federal government.

Until 2009, pharmaceutical company payments to health professionals were closely held trade secrets. But several companies began reporting the information publicly under pressure from lawmakers or as a condition of settling federal whistle-blower lawsuits.

Company 2010 Speaker Payments 2010 U.S. Sales
Lilly $61,477,547 $14.3 billion
GlaxoSmithKline $52,755,793 $13.6 billion
Pfizer $34,382,574 $26.2 billion
AstraZeneca $31,647,101 $18.3 billion
Merck $20,365,446 $18.8 billion
Johnson & Johnson $11,712,900 $12.9 billion
Cephalon $4,241,080 $2.1 billion
ViiV Healthcare $3,975,102 Unavailable

In October, ProPublica published a database called Dollars for Docs that included information from those companies. It allows the public to search for individual physicians to see whether they've been on pharma's payroll.

Today, ProPublica is updating that tool to include payments made to health professionals by 12 companies. Eight of those published data for all of 2010: Lilly, GlaxoSmithKline, Pfizer, Merck, Cephalon, Johnson & Johnson, ViiV Healthcare and AstraZeneca.

In addition to the payments made to speakers, some of the companies also disclosed how much they've spent on consulting, travel, meals and research.

In all, payments to doctors and other health-care providers in ProPublica's database total more than $760 million and cover reports from drug companies between 2009 and the second quarter of 2011.

Some Docs Pull Out

The new data offer a glimpse of how the firms have adapted their strategies over time, both to changes in the marketplace and to increased scrutiny of their sales techniques.

Many experts predict physicians will back away from working for the companies once their names and pay are publicly revealed.

It's too early to know if this is true, but ProPublica's analysis shows that the payouts to dozens of doctors and other health professionals took a steep dive last year.

Pulmonologist Veena Antony, for example, was paid at least $88,000 to give promotional talks for GlaxoSmithKline in 2009. But last year, the Birmingham, Ala., doctor gave them up out of concern that patients might think her advice was tainted.

"You don't even want the appearance that I might be influenced by anything that a company gave," she said.

Cancer specialist Nam Dang was a regular on Cephalon's speaking circuit, pulling in $131,250 in 2009. But those promotional gigs stopped, he said, after he took a job at the University of Florida in Gainesville, which bans such talks. In 2010, he received $10,000 for consulting for Cephalon and Pfizer.

Nurse practitioner Terri Warren, who runs a Portland, Ore., health clinic, earned at least $113,000 from Glaxo in 2009, mostly talking about its herpes drug Valtrex. In 2010, that dropped to $300 after the drug went off patent and Glaxo no longer had a financial incentive to promote it.

"It's a business decision, clearly," said Warren, who felt her talks helped educate other health professionals about treating a taboo illness. "My money [from Glaxo] went into keeping this little clinic alive, and now we have to figure out some other way to do that."

Another group of physicians has ramped up speaking engagements and consulting.

Buffalo hematologist Zale Bernstein earned $49,250 from Cephalon in 2009. The following year, his pay jumped to $177,800 (plus an additional $35,500 for travel). Bernstein did not return calls for comment.

Pain specialist Gerald M. Sacks spoke and consulted for four companies in the database and was among the highest paid. The Santa Monica, Calif., doctor earned $270,825 from Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson, Lilly and Cephalon in 2010, up from $225,575 in 2009. Those figures do not include travel costs and meals.

Over 18 months, Pfizer alone paid Sacks $318,250 for speaking. He did not return repeated calls for comment.

Pfizer's new disclosure also revealed an unusual recipient. Its top-paid physician consultant last year, Dr. Christiana Goh Bardon, runs a hedge fund in Boston that bets on the rise and fall of health-care companies. She was paid nearly $308,000 to "provide input on our BioTherapeutics business development plan," Pfizer spokeswoman Kristen Neese wrote in an email.

Bardon, who started her hedge fund after her Pfizer contract ended, was required to sign a confidentiality agreement and not allowed to invest in Pfizer or any of the biotech companies that Pfizer was looking at acquiring or partnering with for projects, Neese said.

Bardon said in a voice-mail message that she does not currently practice as a physician and her work was based on her business acumen.

Drug Companies Change Their Strategies

Some companies apparently have used fewer physician speakers and consultants since they began posting their data publicly.

Cephalon, a relatively small Pennsylvania company that specializes in pain, cancer and central nervous system drugs, paid physicians nearly $9.3 million in 2009 for speaking and consulting. That figure dropped to $5 million last year.

"There wasn't one big thing that happened that shifted the focus," said spokeswoman Jenifer Antonacci. Rather, the company's marketing strategies for its brands changed.

AstraZeneca cut its spending on speakers from roughly $22.8 million in the first half of 2010 to about $9.2 million in the second half.

The company's U.S. compliance officer, Marie Martino, said AstraZeneca typically holds most of its speaker events in the beginning of each year. But she acknowledged that the company's spending on promotional talks has been decreasing.

"We're in a period now where we don't have a lot of new indications [approved uses] or new products that have been introduced in recent months, and that really is the fundamental explanation for what you're seeing," Martino said.

AstraZeneca, like other companies, is also replacing some in-person speaking events with teleconferences, webcasts and video conferences.

Glaxo's spending on speakers also slowed in 2010, averaging about $13.2 million per quarter in 2010, down 15 percent from the last three quarters of 2009. (Glaxo did not report data in the first quarter of 2009.)

Company spokeswoman Mary Anne Rhyne said the company is working to reduce its speaker rolls by 50 percent. "We feel it is a better use of resources to use fewer speakers more often. This cuts down on training costs as well as lessens the number of contracts needed," she wrote in an email.

And Lilly's speaker payments dropped 10 percent from 2009 to 2010, which spokesman MacGregor said was likely due to "normal year-to-year fluctuation."

ProPublica's early analysis of the data is limited because so few companies report their spending and even then, disclose different information. Lilly, for example, reports every health professional it pays to speak, while Pfizer includes only those who can prescribe.

"It's really unclear how much money is being spent in any one of these areas," said Vincent DeChellis, a principal at NHHS Healthcare Consulting, which has studied the data. "As you get more and more companies participating and submitting this information, you're going to get an initial look" at what may be a multibillion-dollar practice.

When Massachusetts required drug and device companies to report payments to doctors in that state last year, 286 companies did so.

Scrutiny of speaker programs has prompted changes.

After ProPublica reported last year that some drug-company speakers had been sanctioned by their state medical boards, the firms pledged to toughen their screening procedures and exclude physicians with disciplinary records.

Separately, ProPublica found that universities were not enforcing their own policies barring physicians from giving promotional speeches. In response, a number of schools said they would begin using the payment rosters to check for rule-breakers.

Pharma's trade group said the focus of most companies right now is ensuring the accuracy of data that will be publicly released in 2013. But this transparency also must be put into context for patients, said Diane Bieri, executive vice president and general counsel for the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America.

Doctors help develop new medicines, advise companies on marketing and help educate their peers about appropriate uses of new drugs, she said.

"If the only information that's available is that company A paid doctor B $75,000 for a consulting arrangement," she said, "that's typically not enough information to really educate the patient about what was involved in that relationship."

The new regulations which have resulted in doctors having to buy their own golf balls, ball pens and other trivia have caused a democratic resurgence in the doctors offices has resulted in the drug companies catering lunches for the entire office staff. Sometimes properly catered other times the detailer just bringing glorified carry-out….

Great reporting!  Personally I’ve warned my family from seeing doctors.  This garbage of take this because a Pharmaceutical paid a doctor to say that it works is one of the oldest tricks in the book.  Good job Pro Publica!

This country will not be able to abate its potentially devastating escalation of healthcare costs until it completes a top-to-bottom reviw of the weaknesses and inefficiencies of our pharmaceutical approval and regulation infrastructure.

It is rather appalling that it takes some $1.3 billion to get a drug to market, according to a study by Bain & Co.  This virtually eliminates the small innovative shops from seeing a drug through the very expensive process.  Meanwhile the Big Pharma companies with five billion dollar R&D budgets fail repeatedly to develop any significant new drugs of benefit to medical science.

One approach to level the playing field is to shift the revenue scenario of the FDA from a front end fee loaded basis to an override on dollar sales.

Thus a tiny, but highly innovative pharma lab would have much less of a barrier to entry to get a new drug on the market.

Pharmaceuticals are classic operating leverage companies, with massive front end costs and minimal variable costs.  Shifting this to the FDA drawing its revenue from overrides over the life time of the drug is certainly more logical than having massive front end fees.

arnold kleinmd

Sep. 8, 2011, 1:30 a.m.

Dr. Arnold Klein, a Beverly Hills Dermatologist and
Professor of dermatology and medicine at UCLA is
considered to be the founder of modern day facial
aesthetics for his contributions to the field. Dr. Klein
or ‘Arnie’ as his celebrity patients often call him also
considers himself a modern day David in a world of
Pharmaceutical Goliaths. He is a watchdog and
whistleblower who has been punished repeatedly for
his actions. He’s been removed from his posts as
contributor for many medical journals after speaking
out against certain products and pharmaceutical
companies in defense of public safety. He continues
to spread his word on the dangers of Dermatology by
paying for his own lectures usually done guerrilla style
with renting restaurants to host the event and college
students to pass out flyers during conventions.
Dr. Klein has now turned his attention to the FDA in
the hopes he can convince them to take a harsher
stand on certain policies and to revamp their
processes for approving new products and devices for
Dermatology.
Dr. Klein, what is wrong with the FDA in your opinion?
Klein: Medicine is run by a triumvirate. First there is an
organization that is hidden in the corridors of buildings in
Silver Springs, Maryland. The organization of power is
the US Food and Drug Administration known as the
FDA.
The FDA is fed by large sums of money, casually given to
individuals who work there. The money comes not from
the government, but rather from pharmaceutical
companies.
You called it a ‘triumvirate” though; you’ve only
mentioned two.
Klein: The triumvirate’s missing links are the politically
active physicians who control what appears in medical
journals and speak at the FDA, as well as control what is
spoken at medical meetings.
What makes you feel that you are qualified to speak
out on these subjects?
Klein: I first achieved distinction in the dermatologic
world by developing the injection techniques for bovine
collagen for use in wrinkles and facial scars. These
techniques helped to get FDA approval for bovine
collagen and launched the field of minimally invasive
aesthetic enhancements in 1979. This discovery enabled
me to speak at medical meetings in the USA and abroad.
In 1984 I developed the injection technique for lip
enhancement with bovine collagen.
You called the FDA a “Drug Cartel” recently. What
did you mean by that?
Klein: When we use to hear of deaths of celebrities as well
as anyone due to drugs this was almost uniformly due to
the illicit drug market which spans our country. In recent
years the enabling drug dealer is no longer the black
market but the FDA itself. For example Oxycotin was
first marketed by Purdue Pharma starting in late 1995 .
They apparently realized that marketing a product similar
to heroin would be highly profitable. The FDA was well
aware of Oxycontin’s limitations in the use of medicine,
was aware of Purdue’s marketing tactics, and was aware
that the question of the risks exceeding the rewards for
the use of Oxycontin.
At present Oxycotin has flooded the medicine cabinets in
every city and once it was widely distributed, it became
increasingly used non-medically. An investigation
uncovered an extensive, long-term conspiracy by The
Purdue Frederick Company, Inc. to generate the
maximum amount of revenues possible from the sale of
Oxycontin through various illegal schemes. To resolve the
criminal charges, Purdue pled guilty to a felony count of
misbranding a drug with intent to defraud and mislead.
As part of the plea, Purdue will pay a $600 million
settlement. That amount includes a criminal fine,
restitution to government agencies, and over $276 million
in forfeiture. In a separate civil settlement, Purdue will
pay $100.6 million to the United States.
In addition, Purdue’s current and former executive
employees, Michael Friedman, Howard Udell and Dr.
Paul Goldenheim, pled guilty to a misdemeanor violation
of misbranding OxyContin by illegally promoting the
drug as being less addictive, less subject to abuse, and less
likely to cause tolerance and withdrawal than other pain
medications. Never the less this drugs availability
continues and the FDA plays on.

arnold kleinmd

Sep. 8, 2011, 1:43 a.m.

I certainly know the formulation of Oxycotin has been altered. We react against the Mexican Cartel which is no Cartel but a bunch of gangs, What about what the addiction to prescription drugs and the FDA. What is being done about that…Greed kills,,AWK

We banned cigarette and hard liquor advertising from the air waves long ago.  Why do we allow drug companies to advertise?  A lot of the drugs they have pushed have turned out to have dire consequences for some and have been taken off the market.  Why do we allow this?

The Department of Defense and the Veterans Administration both negotiate with drug companies on price.  Why in Medicare Part D do we allow the drug companies to set the price?  Every politician that voted for this should hand their head in shame as well as the Bush administration for letting it happen on their watch and the Obama administration for not even trying to do anything about it.

Johnson and Johnson has totally lost the recipe.  As a consumer I would pay for their product because of the quality.  How naive was I?  Meanwhile the FDA didn’t want seniors to buy drugs from Canada because they might be tainted?  Give me a break!

I don’t believe anything a drug company tells me and only half of what doctors tell me.  We have to start taking responsibity for ourselves because we can no longer trust the people we use to traditionally rely on to keep us safe.  God help those too weak, too poor, or too naive not to protect themselves from these greedy corporations, executives, and doctors.

Stephanie Palmer

Sep. 8, 2011, 6:53 a.m.

Regardless of the crooked pharmaceutical companies and their paying unscrupulous doctors for prescribing their “medications,” I think the if people actually read all the incredibly inane contraindications, they would think three or four times before they ever put that crap in their bodies. If you have allergies, unless they’re keeping you from living, get a tissue. There’s nothing wrong with a little discomfort. Deal with it for a while before you take anything. I think most of the time the best medicine is rest and time.  I for one,take no medicines.

Let thy food be thy medicine and let thy medicine be thy food. - Hippocrates

Reporters wishing to provide more context and meaning to these stories should contact doctors with experience. Here is a link to the Association of Clinical Researchers and Educators (ACRE) press release. There are several ACRE physicians listed who are interested in speaking with the media .http://www.prlog.org/11651202-acre-statement-on-propublica-second-report-industry-payments-to-physicians.html

John Kamp, Executive Director, Coalition for Healthcare Communication, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address); www:cohealthcom.org

Barbara Yates

Sep. 8, 2011, 10:48 a.m.

Well there is always online pharmaceutical supply houses and then there is Mexico.  I would love to go down to Mexican and let the US govt arrest me for buying drugs down there and take it to the highest court and challenge the US govt’s authority to prevent you from buying in Mexico.  In fact, maybe I will try this, we are being cuckholded and we are all slaves to these big pharmaceutical companies, but it’s time to get off their titties.  If American doctors want to be bribed, so be it, doesn’t mean the American public needs to stay so stupid.  I get it, and I will buy from Mexico and let our govt try to arrest some old lady just trying to stay alive.  I love it, we need to expose our govt’s complicity with the drug companies.

Barry Schmittou

Sep. 8, 2011, 12:51 p.m.

I hope this comment will help the doctors’ to understand citizens concerns about any big businesses interaction with them.

I also hope doctors will help me stop the organized crimes you’re about to learn of !! ( I am emailing this to John Camp whose contact information is listed in his comment above )

Obama and Bush’s DOL and DOJ Directors have allowed doctors’ paid by MetLife and other insurers to ignore brain lesions, Multiple Sclerosis, cardiac conditions of many patients, and a foot a new mother broke in five places as evidenced in the quotes from numerous U.S. Judges seen at deadlyorganizedcrimes.blogspot.com

(Please note in two separate cases Judges wrote that Dr. Gary Greenhood ignored Multiple Sclerosis and a foot a new mother broke in five places but Obama will not even ask him to stop !!

MetLife attacks multiple Psychological patients !!

In Zanny verses MetLife U.S. District Judge Richard Enslen wrote :

“Metlife and its henchmen should appreciate that such conduct may itself precipitate the suicide death of a person who has placed implicit trust in their organization. This record is an open indictment of MetLife’s practices and treatment of the mentally-ill and long-term disability benefits.”

Please remember the patients can die during the years it takes disabled patients to get their case to get to Court.

WFAA - TV wrote this about Workers Comp :

“a remarkable number of Texans committed suicide because they could no longer endure the pain caused by their injuries and they had been repeatedly turned down for worker’s comp care. Some insurance companies send peer review doctors medical files “stripped” of records important to the possible approval of workers’ comp claims.”

You can also see how multiple insurance companies are committing identical dangerous crimes at treasonevidence.blogspot.com

The remainder of this comment has excerpts from the reports that were written by the Psychologist I was referred to while MetLife ignored my LTD claim for right eye cancer and left eye orbital surgery for six years. MetLife knew I often had no money for medical treatment. My life and my mind have been destroyed !!

The full reports can be seen at : mypsychologistsreport.blogspot.com

In an urgent letter addressed to Asst. Secretary of Labor Ms. Borzi, my psychologist wrote :

“I have conceptualized the severe and cumulative stress as traumatizing”

“Mr. Schmittou is in desperate situation”

“His intense emotional misery is a daily struggle. His concentration and sleep are impaired. His thoughts and emotions are so troubled he describes feeling “like my brain is on fire. I think he struggles to express the fullness of his distress.”

It is my impression that three medical doctors paid by Metlife appeared to have ignored medical evidence.  In fact, from the time he filed the claims in 2002 until the Court ordered a review in 2008, Metlife ignored both his claims for long-term disability based on vision impairments and on psychological impairments. In treatment, I have observed that the impact of such actions by Metlife has resulted in exacerbation of Mr. Schmititou’s psychological symptoms and periods of significant destabilization.

In light of the violations Metlife has committed against Mr. Schmittou and Metlife’s awareness of the additional harm caused him, Metlife’s actions seem irresponsible, inhumane, dangerous, and reckless.

The Department of Labor did nothing after seeing this. They have evidence that proves MetLife committed the exact same violations and crimes again in 2010 and 2011, even while they knew I was having surgery for deep tissue cancer and their violations of law were causing me additional tremendous nightmares like I was in the debris field of tornados, nausea and tremendous sleep problems.

In a document that was served upon U.S. Attorney Jerry Martin on 9/1/11 I wrote :

“I still have tremendous problems sleeping every night and nausea caused by MetLife’s violations and Obama and his DOL and DOJ’s refusal to take action to prevent the destruction of many more lives !!”

Obama’s DOL and DOJ Directors have received many similar communications from me !!

The destruction of lives seen at treasonevidence.blogspot.com is hard to believe, especially since on Labor Day Obama was on TV saying :

“we make sure everyone gets the help that they need”

Obama often talks about his Christian values and during his Eulogy sermon he said we should :

“expand our moral imaginations”
“sharpen our instincts for empathy”

I do believe money does have an evil influence in medical treatment as seen at the websites I have posted above !!!!!

I pray the Coalition for Health Care of someone reading this will help stop the destruction of many more lives !! The leaders of both political parties will not lift one finger to help !!

Daniel Haszard

Sep. 8, 2011, 1:14 p.m.

PTSD treatment for Veterans found ineffective.
Eli Lilly Zyprexa can cause diabetes.
I took Zyprexa a powerful Lilly schizophrenic drug for 4 years it was prescribed to me off-label for post traumatic stress disorder was ineffective costly and gave me diabetes. 
-FIVE at FIVE-
The Zyprexa antipsychotic drug,whose side effects can include weight gain and diabetes, was sold for “children in foster care, people who have trouble sleeping, elderly in nursing homes.”- *Five at Five* was the Zyprexa sales rep slogan, meaning *5mg dispensed at 5pm would keep patients quiet*.
—Daniel Haszard Zyprexa victim activist

Barry Schmittou

Sep. 8, 2011, 1:38 p.m.

John Kamp mentioned above also has an email at Wiley Rein law firm that represents Pharmaceutical companies. Here’s a quote from their website :

“For more than two decades Wiley Rein attorneys have represented health plans, health care providers, pharmaceutical companies and other health-related entities in connection with federal and state health care programs, as well as with the application of federal law to commercial health businesses.”

Mr . Kamp’s email there is .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

I believe his connection to Pharmaceutical companies should be disclosed since Mr. Kamp’s comment above said :

”Reporters wishing to provide more context and meaning to these stories should contact doctors with experience”

Additionally, I saw an AP article about two years ago that wrote there is an official U.S. board that recommends who should use antidepressants, and 100% of the members of that board make money from Pharmaceutical companies that sell antidepressants. I was having surgeries at the time and did not confirm that evidence.

Please see my first comment above for much more evidence of dangerous doctors and their connections to insurance companies !!

So can pharmaceutical companies pay you?

http://www.propublica.org/about/propublica-advertising-acceptability-policy/

Hmmm.  I think the nature of the interaction is of vast importance in determining unethical behavior.  Perhaps you need to include more context instead of such globally implied condemnation.  (though it is deserved in many cases, it may not be in others).

Barry Schmittou

Sep. 8, 2011, 2:35 p.m.

John Kamp who is connected to a Pharmaceutical law firm just complained about my comment at http://www.propublica.org/article/news-reports-cite-drop-in-physician-speaking-fees

Kamp has an email at Wiley Rein law firm that represents Pharmaceutical companies. Here’s a quote from their website :

“For more than two decades Wiley Rein attorneys have represented health plans, health care providers, pharmaceutical companies and other health-related entities in connection with federal and state health care programs, as well as with the application of federal law to commercial health businesses.”

I believe his connection to Pharmaceutical companies should be disclosed since Mr. Kamp’s comment above said :

”Reporters wishing to provide more context and meaning to these stories should contact doctors with experience”

I also believe if his Health Care coalition has a conscience and follows their mission statement, they should immediately help stop the destruction of lives that is seen at treasonevidence.blogspot.com

you can also check the FDA and search any disease, numerous MD’s names come up and you can see who they are on the advisory committees and studies/clinical trials and other pharmaceutical companies and medications previously and currently used..amazing.

I think the medical industrial complex is the next bubble to burst.  In fact I am sure of it.  Our society cannot sustain the high cost of big pharma’s mistakes and mass poisoning.  Their Ponzi scheme is about to come to an end just like the banks are soon to be taken down. 

Their products and medical devices have poisoned millions with impunity and thus far they have been able to push their costs (also called negative externalities) onto to SSDI, Medicare and Medicaid and the health and disability insurance industry.  Many patients have been poisoned from their “profits first” mantra.  These costs are going to cripple our society whether we have universal health care or not and they are unsustainable.  You cannot externalize your negative costs, as the pharmaceutical companies and medical device and equipment manufacturers have done, onto other industries and the government forever.  Something has to give.  Haven’t we learned our lesson with the banks? 

Now health insurers can no longer kick the sick and dying off their rolls and so they will have to pay when millions are sickened from toxic treatments.  Big pharma’s profits and the health insurance companies’ profits are inversely related so the more profit big pharma makes the fewer profits the insurance company will make.  The insurance industry needs to reel in big pharma if they are to survive.  I only wish I had listened to my health insurance company when I was getting all of my MRIs with a gadolinium based contrasting agents – gadolinium is a toxic heavy metal – that has left me totally disabled.  My health insurance company made me jump through hoops and I wish I didn’t jump through those hoops. 

Until we fix the underlying problems and that is strict liability and accountability for intentional injury we will not survive as a nation.  A good place to start would be doing studies that matter and prosecuting those responsible for rigged clinical trials.  And don’t forget to force the FDA to change their reporting requirements of adverse events from medical products and drugs mandatory rather than voluntary.

This is actually pretty interesting. If you’ve heard about Pfizer’s deal with Icagen, it seems to be a win-win transaction based on Icagen’s patents. However, will it do well for Pfizer’s balance sheet?  http://www.benzinga.com/node/1915138

Interesting article but I don’t take too much stock in Wall Street’s short-term view of a long-term problem.  Did Wall Street predict the housing bubble?  Oh sure if you consider making money off credit default swaps you may have got lucky.  But to the victor go the spoils and we have a country that is totally trashed by their ludicrous behavior.  Just as the banks can’t spin their way out of this protracted recession, neither are the pharmaceutical companies going to be able to stop the bubble from bursting.  They have poisoned millions and have cost our healthcare systems billions if not trillion in added healthcare costs.  Like I said their level of profits are unsustainable and it doesn’t matter what you or I think it is inevitable that what goes up will come crashing down just as it did for the banks.

This article is part of an ongoing investigation:
Dollars for Doctors

Dollars for Doctors: How Industry Money Reaches Physicians

ProPublica is tracking the financial ties between doctors and medical companies.

The Story So Far

ProPublica is investigating the financial ties between the medical community and the drug and device industry. In October 2010, ProPublica compiled the list of payments that drug companies make to physicians and built a publicly searchable database so that patients could look up their doctors.

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