What Do You Think of Accepting Payments, Meals From Drug Companies?

September 04, 2019

Pharmaceutical and medical device industry payments to physicians added up to $9.35 billion last year, according to a report from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). That's $380 million more than in 2017 and $770 million more than in 2014, the first full year payments were made public on CMS's Open Payments website.

But slightly fewer doctors have been getting payments in the past 2 years: 627,000 doctors are listed on the site for 2018, which is 11,000 fewer than for 2016.

Those doctors who stopped taking payments, even free meals, probably didn't do so because they think it's wrong, says Thomas Sullivan, operator of Policy & Medicine, a website that reports on regulatory and compliance topics affecting the pharmaceutical industry, including Open Payments. He told Medscape that he thinks it's probably because of teaching hospital policies that bar employed physicians from meeting with reps and accepting their free lunches.

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