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By Robert Geimer

According to an analysis by Pro Publica, doctors who receive money, gifts and meals from drug companies write prescriptions for name brand drugs at a higher rate than doctors who do not receive money or gifts.  The highest prescribing percentages went to doctors who received more than $5,000 in money or gifts.  Though doctors have long disputed a connection between drug company payments and prescribing habits, this analysis provides proof.  If this were to happen in a different context, it might be considered bribery or a payoff.  But because of the outsized influence and campaign contributions of pharmaceutical and physician groups, it is just “incentive.”

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By Robert Geimer

As if having a colonoscopy isn’t bad enough, doctors mocked a patient undergoing such a procedure while he was anesthetized. As reported in The Washington Post, doctors in Reston, Virginia were recorded saying they wanted to punch the patient in the face; joked that a rash was syphilis; and referred to the patient as a “retard.” They were recorded talking about avoiding the patient after he awoke, even using a “fake page” to do so. Despite the recording, the doctors fought the case all the way through trial, but a jury ordered them to pay $500,000 for this inexcusable conduct. Do doctors talk about us this way behind our backs or when we are incapacitated? I hope not. But even worse, when these doctors were caught on tape, they still refused to accept responsibility and forced this poor patient to go through a trial. Shame on them.

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