Journalism in the Public Interest

With Our Dollars for Docs Update Coming, Drug Companies Defend ‘Interactions’ With Physicians

As ProPublica gets ready to refresh its Dollars for Docs database listing payments from drug companies to hundreds of thousands of doctors, the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America says paid physician speakers play a critical role in improving patient care.


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Tonight, ProPublica will be posting a significant update to its Dollars for Docs database, adding new payment reports from 12 drug companies that comprise more than 40 percent of U.S. drug sales. Hundreds of thousands of doctors will be added to the database.

In advance of the update, the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America issued a statement defending drugmakers' interactions with physicians.

"Interactions between biopharmaceutical research companies and healthcare professionals play a critical role in improving patient care and fostering appropriate use of medicines," wrote Diane Bieri, the group's executive vice president and general counsel.

The PhRMA release does not explicitly note that doctors and other health professionals are being paid for giving promotional speeches, calling them “peer education programs.” ProPublica's analysis found that some physicians earn more than $100,000 a year from the practice.

PhRMA cites a recent survey of 508 physicians in which nine out of 10 attendees of pharma-sponsored physician speeches said they found information they received to be useful. More than half of attendees said they often gain knowledge or skills helpful to their practice.

A different survey, conducted by Consumer Reports last year, found that more than three-fourths of 1,250 adults said they would be “very” or “somewhat” concerned about getting the best treatment or advice if their doctor were accepting drug-company money. And 70 percent said doctors should tell their patients about such payments if they are going to prescribe drugs from one of those companies.

The survey, with a sampling error of plus or minus 2.8 percent, was conducted in collaboration with ProPublica's investigation into promotional payments from drug companies to doctors.

In addition, a host of whistle-blower lawsuits have accused some companies of inappropriately promoting their drugs for uses not approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration or for giving kickbacks to physicians who prescribed their products. Companies have paid billions of dollars in recent years to settle the cases, and some have pleaded guilty to criminal charges.

The Dollars for Docs database was first published in October 2010. With this update, ProPublica has made the data available in advance to dozens of media organizations that have expressed an interest.

“Interactions between biopharmaceutical research companies and healthcare professionals play a critical role in improving patient care and fostering appropriate use of medicines.”

Sure it does.  That’s why I’ve heard so many stories of people who needed to remind their doctors of allergies and possible prescription interactions.  That’s why drugs get prescribed despite the arm-long shopping list of horrific side-effects.  That’s why so many doctors will literally write a prescription for any drug you ask for by name.  And that’s why doctors need to be pressured to prescribe generic versions of drugs that are chemically identical.

It’s because the drug companies are doing what they can to save lives, rather than simply advertising to maximize profits at everybody else’s expense.

Barry Schmittou

Sep. 8, 2011, 9:15 a.m.

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

I also hope doctors will help me stop the crimes you’re about to learn of !!

Obama and Bush both 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

(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 but they gave Obama hundreds of thousands of dollars and he won’t touch them !!

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 their case to get to Court.

Here’s more on why many citizens are don’t trust Big Businesses interactions with our medical treatment !!

In 2008 Obama took $30,000 from MetLife VP James Lipscomb, and $2,600 from attorney Bruce Yannett. Both of these gifts were for Obama’s victory party.

Obama took hundreds of thousands of dollars from MetLife and the law firm named Debevoise & Plimpton LLP that employs Mr. Yannett !!

Then MetLife’s VP Lipscomb and Attorney Yannett signed MetLife’s third Non Prosecution agreement for committing multiple frauds and rigging bids to increase sales of disability policies;

BUT when sick and dying patients file claims on these policies Obama’s DOL/DOJ will do nothing about doctors paid by MetLife ignoring life threatening medical conditions.

Prudential, and Unum insurance also received Non Prosecution agreements for bid rigging group health, disability, life and related policies.

Add that to AIG’s huge bid rigging of billions of dollars in bids to increase sales of workers comp policies !!

AIG’s bid rigging occurred during the exact same time period that WFAA - TV Wrote :

“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

The doctors’ comments on this article have provided some hope that the meetings with Pharmaceutical companies are doing some good, but I believe it citizens have a right to be very concerned about the billions of dollars that Pharmaceutical companies give to the doctors who choose what medicines we should use.

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 believe money does have an evil influence in medical treatment !!!!!
I also believe there is such a pattern of evil God is our only hope !!

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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