James D. Barger, J.D.


Aylstock, Witkin, Kreis & Overholtz, PLLC

Prescription Drug Litigation

Drug-Maker Influence over Doctors

In the world of pharmaceutical torts litigation, one recurring theme is the influence drug companies exert over doctors. Often, this influence leads to numerous prescriptions for inferior drugs that have serious side effects. Many patients do not know that drug companies pay doctors and go out of their way to influence their prescribing habits.

For an in-depth discussion of these ethical problems and legal ramifications, see the video below, provided by the American Law Journal. The show includes a guest lawyer representing the pharmaceutical company perspective -- although his comments are unconvincing.

Published on Nov 12, 2012.
After this program aired, GlaxoSmithKilne (GSK) announced, in December 2013, they would no longer pay doctors as part of their marketing of drugs.
Glaxo-Smith Kline's historic $3 billion settlement for off-label marketing revealed more than fraud. Its $275,000 payment to TV celebrity Dr. Drew Pinsky to promote Wellbutrin highlighted the questionable relationship between doctors and drug companies.

Dollars for Docs - Big Pharma & Physicians (PBS)

See the links below for an excellent series about how pharmaceutical companies influence doctors by paying them. The series was a joint effort by NPR, ProPublica, PBS, the Chicago Tribune, the Boston Globe, and Consumer Reports. The series includes reports on multiple national radio shows, an online public database, and TV coverage on PBS's Nightly Business Report. Dr. Nissen, who has exposed several problems at pharmaceutical companies, is featured in the video on the first page below.