Pharma Mints Millionaire Doc: This is America, But Is It Marketing?

Dr. Jon W. Draud, the medical director of psychiatric and addiction medicine at two Tennessee hospitals, “earned more than $1 million for delivering promotional talks and consulting for seven drug companies,” according to ProPublica’s Dollars for Docs database, which has been updated to include more than $2 billion in payments from 15 drugmakers for promotional speaking, research, consulting, travel, meals and related expenses from 2009 to 2012 (see here).

Paid speaking “is perfectly legal, and if people want to work for drug companies, this is America,” said Dr. James H. Scully Jr., chief executive of the American Psychiatric Association. “But everybody needs to be clear — this is marketing.”

Vladimir Maletic. Jain, of Lake Jackson, Texas, has not yet made the Pharma Dollars for Docs Millionaire Club. He has earned only $582,049 from pharma to date. “I am not a marketer, I am an educator,” Jain said. Reminds me of Nixon’s claim: “I am not a crook!”

Meanwhile, a survey of 1,000 physicians revealed that more than half admitted they didn’t know that the new Physician Sunshine law (part of Obamacare) requires pharmaceutical and medical device companies to report on expenditures annually, without physician review of the data to correct any inconsistencies or errors, prior to submission to the government. 63% were deeply concerned that a record of these payments will be available in a publicly searchable database such as ProPublica’s.

Physicians Unprepared for Sunshine ActYou can learn more about this survey by listening to a conversation with Michaeline Daboul, CEO of MMIS, about her company’s third annual survey of doctors and their knowledge of the Sunshine Act. The survey found that physicians are actually less informed than they were one year ago.

Airs LIVE on: Wednesday, March 13, 2013 * 2:00 PM (Eastern US)

Listen during or after the show here.

Meanwhile, PhRMA is beginning to put a positive spin on this. “There seems to be an increased curiosity these days about interactions between biopharmaceutical research companies and healthcare professionals,” says PhRMA on The Catalyst blog (see here). “If you’re interested in learning how these collaborations lead to better patient care and contribute to the discovery and development of new, innovative medicines, check out the Partners for Healthy Dialogues website,” urges PhRMA.