Medical Board of California to investigate pharmaceutical payments to physicians

An investigation by the Los Angeles Daily News found physicians prescribing psychotropic drugs to the state's foster children received more than twice as much as typical California physicians in payments from big pharmaceutical companies for meals, gifts, travel, speaking engagements and industry-sponsored research, which has gotten the attention of the California Medical Board.

The Daily News reported drugmakers spent more than $14 million from 2010 to 2013 to woo physicians prescribing to youths in California's foster care system. Additionally, the physicians prescribing the most drugs to the foster children on average accepted about $10,000 more from drug companies than "lower prescribers" in 2013.

Santa Monica, Calif.-based nonprofit group Consumer Watchdog sent a letter to the California Medical Board on Nov. 24, requesting the board expand its investigation into the potential overprescribing practices of physicians prescribing drugs to foster children, according to a San Jose Mercury News report.

Carmen Balber, executive director of Consumer Watchdog, told the Mercury News the problem of drug manufacturers influencing physicians through payments is not a new one, but this particular investigation is "disturbing because of the patients it affects."

Although it is not against the law for physicians to accept promotional funds from drug manufacturers, Kimberly Kirchmeyer, executive director of the California Medical Board, said overprescribing certain drugs because of pharmaceutical company influence could constitute unprofessional conduct on the part of the physicians involved, according to the report.  

More articles on healthcare finance:

The hidden costs of healthcare: 5 things to know
Torrance Memorial Medical Center opens new $450M patient tower
Kansas hospitals continue push for Medicaid expansion

Copyright © 2024 Becker's Healthcare. All Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy. Cookie Policy. Linking and Reprinting Policy.


Featured Whitepapers

Featured Webinars