Doctors' Lucrative Ties to Industry

Kristen Sparrow • May 15, 2013

woman doctorWe’ve discussed the corrupting effect of money on the practice of medicine many times on the blog. (Check here, “Follow the Money.“)  Thi s article outlines some of the measured being taken to curb the influence of drug money and device industry money on medical practice, and some of the more egregious examples of the practice.  A few exerpts below.
May 13, 2013, 5:05 pm
Doctors’ Lucrative Industry Ties
Dr. Alfred J. Tria is the chief of orthopedic surgery at St. Peter’s University Hospital, a 478-bed facility in New Brunswick, N.J., and to the medical technology company Smith & Nephew, his good word is worth a million bucks. Well, $940,857, to be precise…
The data will be a treasure trove for researchers. For patients, the question is what to make of this information and whether to seek it out when choosing a physician or making an important medical decision. Orthopedic surgeons, cardiologists and psychiatrists received the most lucrative payments, the new study found. Primary care physicians — such as internists and pediatricians — were least likely to receive payments…
“It’s another piece of data for patients to examine as they consider treatment options,” he said. “If they go to an orthopedic surgeon who recommends a knee transplant, and they go to another who recommends watching and physical therapy, it might be interesting for the patient to wonder to what extent those two physicians have relationships with industry…”
“It’s so important for patients to be able to trust their physicians,” she said.