Dollars For Docs From Drug Companies
State doctors, hospitals raked in $50.4 million and tend to prescribe those drugs.
This month, Pro Publica updated its data, adding payments made through December 2015. It found that “companies made about $2 billion in general payments to 618,000 physicians each year, in addition to another $600 million a year to teaching hospitals. General payments cover promotional speaking, consulting, meals, travel, gifts and royalties.”
As ProPublica has previously documented, “physicians who receive payments from the industry tend to prescribe more brand-name drugs than those who don’t. Several academic studies later had similar findings. We also recently reported that companies continue to work with thousands of doctors who have received disciplinary sanctions against their licenses.”
Often the drugs most aggressively promoted to doctors aren’t cures. “Some are top sellers, but most are not,” Pro Publica noted. “Less expensive generic alternatives are available for some of the drugs on the list.”
California, the nation’s biggest state, also received the most payments: doctors there have received $1.44 billion from drug companies. Wisconsin ranked 25th among the states, with $50.4 million in payments received. Here the top ten doctors in the state in payments received:
- Jasbir Sra
Clinical Cardiac Electrophysiology
Prairie Du Chien
- Ben Graf
- Thomas Zdeblick
- Neil Leubke
- Lucian Lozonschi
Thoracic Surgery (Cardiothoracic Vascular Surgery)
- Dennis Miller
Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery
- Jeffrey McLauglin
- Robert Churchill
- Michael Anderson
- Rajeev Jain
Endocrinology, Diabetes & Metabolism
And here are the 10 hospital systems in the state getting the most payments from drug companies:
- University of WI Hospitals & Clinics
- Aurora Health Care Metro Inc.
- West Allis Memorial Hospital, Inc.
- Gundersen Lutheran Medical Center I
- Childrens Hospital of Wisconsin
- Mercy Health System Corporation
- Aspirus Wausau Hospital
- Columbia St Marys Hospital Milwaukee
- Waukesha Memorial Hospital
- Froedtert mem. Lutheran Hospt.
Pro Publica’s reporting come from disclosures required under the Physician Payments Sunshine Act, a part of the 2010 Affordable Care Act. As it notes, “A bill before Congress this year would have watered down some of the disclosure requirements in the Sunshine Act, but the proposal was stripped from the 21st Century Cures Act before it passed.”