When your doctor prescribes a drug, is it because it's the best medicine to make you healthy or did other things factor into his prescription decision? ProPublica senior reporters Charles Ornstein and Tracy Weber and former editor of the New England Journal of Medicine and author of The Truth About the Drug Companies, Dr. Marcia Angell, have explored that question and will discuss what they found during an Investigate This Tenement Talk tomorrow, Tuesday, November 8 at 6:30pm Eastern.
The event will take place at the Tenement Museum in Manhattan (103 Orchard Street at Delancey) and is free and open to the public. Please RSVP here if you would like to attend; seating is limited and available on a first come, first served basis. If you are not in New York City but would like to participate, a live webcast of the conversations will be available below and on U-Stream. You can also ask questions by tweeting them with the hashtag #PTTalks or emailing them to [email protected].
Ornstein and Weber, past winners of the Pulitzer Prize, are the lead reporters on the Dollars for Docs project that examined how pharmaceutical company payments to doctors for consulting, speaking, research and other expenses can have undue influence on the drugs they prescribe to patients. Their series features a searchable database that shows over $760 million worth of payments from pharma companies to doctors. Dr. Angell, who teaches in Harvard's Division of Medical Ethics, wrote a book that explains how "Big Pharma" uses much of their revenue for big marketing campaigns instead of research and development.
The trio will talk about why pharma makes payments to doctors, whether the healthcare law will make these payments more transparent, what patients should ask their doctors about their prescriptions and who benefits in the end.
This is the second in a series of conversations sponsored by the Tenement Museum and ProPublica. We hope you'll join us and find out how involved pharma is with your own healthcare treatment decisions.