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Doctors Who Take Money From Drug Companies Prescribe More Expensive Drugs

The Fiscal Times reports that doctors who accept even small gifts from medical device and pharmaceutical companies are less likely to prescribe generic alternatives. This was the conclusion of ProPublica. 

Drug companies have long tried to influence doctors’ prescribing habits by paying them for research activities, speaking and other “consulting,” or offering gifts of free meals and travel. However, it hasn’t always been possible to find out what gifts your own doctor might be accepting.

The Physician Payments Sunshine Act, which is part of the Affordable Care Act, went into effect in 2013. For the first time, the act requires drug and medical device makers to collect and disclose any payments of more than $10 made to physicians and teaching hospitals.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is in charge of implementing the Sunshine Act, which it has done via its Open Payments Program. You can easily search the site to find out what (if any) payments your doctor has received, along with the nature of the payments.

Ultimately, you are responsible for your and your family's health, so be sure you feel completely comfortable with any related decisions you make. If you're facing a health challenge, choose health care practitioners who really understand health at a foundational level, and have extensive experience helping others (and don't be afraid to ask for references and seek corroboration).

I always advise taking control of your health as well, which you can easily do by reviewing my comprehensive nutrition plan that summarizes my 30 years of clinical experience and treating 25,000 patients.

I put this together so you can stay well and avoid having to rely on information that gives the perception of science when it is actually too heavily flawed or manipulated to benefit your health. Most of us live in free enough countries where we still have the ability to take back control of our health — we just need to grab the initiative.

And remember, if you want to find out whether your doctor is receiving payments from the drug industry, visit OpenPaymentsdata.cms.gov or ProPublica’s Dollars for Docs.
 
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