Report details drug company gifts to health care providers

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(Host) Physicians, hospitals and universities in Vermont received $3.11 million from drug companies during the last fiscal year. In a report released on Tuesday, the Vermont Attorney General’s office says that’s a 26 percent increase over the previous year.

The money came in the form of fees, travel expenses, gifts and other payments. The report says that some physicians received as much as $20,000 to $80,000 in gifts.

Julie Brill is assistant attorney general:

(Brill) “When you look at the amount that certain recipients receive, they’re receiving a fair amount of money probably because they’re giving promotional talks, or they’re traveling around the country going to seminars to promote certain products.”

(Host) Vermont is the only state that requires drug companies to disclose how much they spend on gifts to health care providers. Brill says the disclosure report should be useful to people who are looking at the issue of drug marketing:

(Brill) “We’re hopeful that it will be very informative to policy makers both in state and perhaps nationally so that they can gain an understanding of what kind of marketing is going on and how much is being expended on that marketing.”

(Host) Vermont’s disclosure law doesn’t include the costs of advertising or free samples that drug companies distribute.

Related link:
Read the attorney general’s report online

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