GSK reveals physician payments
NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted Dec. 28, 2009
Drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline paid out $15 million to physician consultants and speakers in the second quarter of 2009, the firm revealed in a report posted at its Web site in December. Nearly 4,000 physicians and other health professionals received payments, with the average compensation totaling $3,909. The highest-paid physician received nearly $100,000, the report said.
Earlier this year, Eli Lilly and Co. disclosed $22 million in first-quarter payments to physicians. Merck & Co. said it paid $3 million in speaker and consultancy fees in the second quarter. Critics of drug industry ties argue that payments to doctors who serve as "key opinion leaders" can wrongly influence guideline-writing committees and practicing physicians' prescribing decisions.
Note: This item originally appeared at http://www.ama-assn.org/amednews/2009/12/28/prbf1228.htm.