Top Medicare Prescribers Rake in Speaking Fees From Drug Makers

An investigation by Pro Publica’s Charles Ornstein, Tracy Weber and Jennifer LaFleur found that at least 17 of the top 20 prescribers of Bystolic, a blood pressure medicine, in Medicare’s prescription drug program in 2010 have been paid by the drug maker Forest Laboratories to deliver promotional talks. In 2012, they together received $283,450 for speeches and more than $20,000 in meals. Pay-to-prescribe is illegal, but these doctors say they haven’t been influenced by the money they get for promoting drugs they also prescribe to large numbers of their patients. Read More.