Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Follow the Money in Medicine

Congress and the Justice Department are looking into the payments made by medical device companies to doctors who consult for them. A bill is pending that would require companies to disclose payments by both drug and device companies.

In Texas, meanwhile, two renowned psychiatrists liked to the University of Texas system are being investigated for their connections to drug companies by U.S. Senator Charles Grassley (R-IA). The University of Texas is also investigating possible failures to report income and other financial allegations. The doctors are recognized for their contributions to child pharmacology.

Eli Lilly plans to begin reporting payments they make to doctors for advice and speeches, even making the information available to the public through an Internet database. It was also the first company to publicly report its educational grants for medical conferences noting that letting the public see what's going on is a necessary step towards restoring trust.

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