Doctors paid over $19.4 million to promote drugs says report

Doctors were paid millions of dollars to sell a new generation of anticoagulents including Xarelto, Pradaxa and Eliquis, the largest payments being made by Novo Nordisk to promote its diabetes drug Victoza.

The report was published by the public interest journalism group Pro Publica on January 7, saying the companies behind the newest generation of blood thinners paid doctors $19.4 million in the last five months of 2013 to sell their drugs for them. The payments were in the form of educational gifts, payments for promotional speeches, meals and consulting fees to both doctors and teaching hospitals.

The findings were drawn from federal data released last fall, comes from a database known as Open Payments. The payments by blood thinner manufacturers appear to be an attempt to promote the drugs successfully as a replacement for Coumadin, also known by the generic name warfarin, which has been the go-to blood thinner for patients with atrial fibrillation for the last 50 years.

Jeffrey Newman represents whistleblowers