17,000 Docs, Some Who Had Sex With Patients, Scarf Big Pharma Payola

Big pharmaceutical companies say they only pick the saintliest docs to be “their boys,” getting paid into the six figures to “teach” fellow doctors about the companies’ latest wunder-pills. But a major investigation into disciplinary action against these docs on the take reveals that some of them have splotchy pasts, from having sex with patients, to criminal convictions, to research misconduct and revoked licenses. The history included:

* A doc reprimanded for “unnecessary” nerve tests on over 20 patients, including some that destroyed their nerve tissue
* An anesthesiologist who gave undocumented rectal and vaginal exams to female patients.
* He also was accused of exposing women’s breasts during procedures
* When confronted, he said, “Maybe I am a pervert, I honestly don’t know.”
* Hundreds of other doctors were
– accused of professional misconduct
– disciplined by state boards
– lacking in credentials
* Over 40 had FDA warnings for research misconduct, lost privileges at the hospital, or were convicted criminals
* Others were sanctioned for inappropriately prescribing drugs
* Giving bad care
* And having sex with patients

The drug companies say they don’t check state health board sites for doctor discipline and instead use self-reporting and federal databases.

Consumer Reports also did a survey of patient attitudes towards doctors who take money from pharma companies. Not surprisingly, they’re not very fond of them.

To check if your doctor takes money from drug companies, just type their name into the searchbox here.

Docs on Pharma Payroll Have Blemished Records, Limited Credentials [ProPublcia]
Consumers wary of doctors who take drug-company dollars [Consumer Reports Health Blog]

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