Thursday, June 28, 2007

Yes, the Shrinks Get the Award

In HOOKED, I wrote that it seemed that problems with conflicts of interest and accepting gifts and money from the drug industry was more of a problem in psychiatry than in other medical specialties--but that I could not be sure as it might merely have been that conflicts in psychiatry received more attention.

Now some evidence comes forward to suggest that the psychiatrists, after all, may get the skunk cabbage award for the most on-the-take specialty. Gardiner Harris has concluded, from his research into the records of drug company gifts to docs in VT and MN, that the shrinks come out on top. Indeed, in VT, company payments to psychiatrists went from $20,835 on average in 2005 to $45,692 in 2006. (The range per psychiatrist in MN, in case you are interested, is from $51 to $689,000. The poor schlub who only got $51 really needs to hire a new agent.)

Coming in second was the endocrinologists.

Harris, Gardiner. Psychiatrists top list in drug maker gifts. New York Times, June 27, 2007, p. A14.

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