Drug Company Pfizer Discloses Payments to Doctors

Pharmaceutical giant Pfizer, the largest drug company in the world, has disclosed that it paid approximately $20 million in consulting and speaking fees to 4,500 doctors and medical professionals during the last half of 2009.  Pfizer also paid $15.3 million during the same period to 250 medical centers and research groups conducting clinical trials.

Most of the disclosures were made to comply with an integrity agreement entered by the company to settle a federal investigation concerning the alleged illegal promotion of drugs for off-label uses.

Soon, all drug and medical device companies will be required to make similar disclosures as part of the recently passed health care reform legislation.  Beginning in 2012, the Physician Payment Sunshine Act will require such companies to disclose payments to doctors greater than $10.  The first report of such disclosures will be made available in 2013.  To date, three other major drug companies have made similar disclosures: Eli Lilly, Merck, and GlaxoSmithKline.

For the full story, see the New York Times.

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