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Drug Companies Increasingly Turning to Private Physicians to Promote Products

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (3/14, Fauber) reported, “For years, drug companies sought out influential university doctors with impressive credentials to bring their message to other doctors and persuade them to write prescriptions for their products.” But as “the practice of doing promotional speaking for drug companies has come under fire in recent years,” more “medical schools…have developed conflict-of-interest policies that ban such talks.” Companies have, therefore, “been forced to back away from that approach,” turning to private physicians instead, who are not regulated by conflict-of-interest policies. As a result, US Sen. Herb Kohl (D-WI) “has co-introduced legislation requiring companies to release payments to doctors to highlight conflicts of interest for the public.”

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