Pouring through public records on file in Minnesota, The New York Times found more than 100 cases of physicians who were paid by drug companies to test therapies after they had been sanctioned by the state medical board for a variety of offenses, including the reckless disregard of their patients' welfare. Experts around the country say the only thing that makes Minnesota unusual is that it makes these documents public. Drug companies, they say, routinely engage physicians for drug testing who have run afoul of professional standards of conduct. According to the probe by the Times, 103 doctors disciplined or criticized by the state medical board collected $1.7 million in drug company fees. The largest group--39 doctors--had been sanctioned for inappropriate prescribing patterns. Thirty-eight of the doctors were receiving payments while under sanction. PhRMA declined comment on the report.
- read the investigative report from The New York Times