Addition to Dr. Abigail Knight on Doctor Kickbacks: It is Happening in Australia as Well! By Mrs Vera West

I met Alor.org blogger, former Aussie, now US citizen Chris Knight some years ago, and his wife Dr Abigail Knight before they left to live in Florida, where she was born. Recently she, as a GP, has been expressing outrage at the kickbacks and bribery that her US colleagues have received from Big Pharma. She discussed the US situation. However, for Australia the evidence shows the situation here is bad, but not as bad as America:

Big Pharma paid doctors over $ 33 million over the last three years, to push their drugs. That is over 6,500 doctors, according to an article published in the Medical Journal of Australia on May 6 2024:

"A total of 6,504 doctors (4.9 percent of all medical practitioners registered in Australia; 4,086 men, 63 percent) had received at least one payment or transfer of value from pharmaceutical companies for registration fees, travel costs, or fees for service during November 2019–October 2022."

"A total $33.44 million was paid or transferred; payments ranged from $36 to $299,161 and the median payment was $1,500 (interquartile range, $727 to $4,000)."

The same medical ethics question arises, that doctors being paid by drug companies will have a bias to promote the drugs in question, and put an objective assessment of the patient's best interests, last. Accepting these kickbacks should be illegal.

https://www.theepochtimes.com/world/33-million-transferred-from-big-pharma-to-doctors-in-australia-5644944

"Pharmaceutical companies paid doctors more than $33 million (US$21.9 million) over three years in Australia to promote their products.

More than 6,500 doctors across the country received at least one payment from a pharmaceutical company between November 2019 and October 2022.

The findings were revealed in a peer-reviewed paper published in the Medical Journal of Australia on May 6.

The highest payments were in haematology or oncology, followed by cardiology and endocrinology.

Rheumatology was the specialty where the greatest number of doctors were recipients of payments.

"A total of 6,504 doctors (4.9 percent of all medical practitioners registered in Australia; 4,086 men, 63 percent) had received at least one payment or transfer of value from pharmaceutical companies for registration fees, travel costs, or fees for service during November 2019–October 2022," the paper stated.

"A total $33.44 million was paid or transferred; payments ranged from $36 to $299,161 and the median payment was $1,500 (interquartile range, $727 to $4,000)."

Public Awareness 'Limited'

The paper noted that within the community, the knowledge that corporations provide payments to doctors that influence prescribing is scarce.

"Public awareness that pharmaceutical companies make payments to doctors to influence their prescribing is limited, and public disclosure of industry payments could reduce trust in the medical profession," the researchers observed.

"Australian doctors should reflect on their relationship with the pharmaceutical industry, considering whether they need to accept payments for continuing professional education, travel, and consultancy work, and whether it is consistent with public expectations." 

 

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Tuesday, 21 May 2024

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