KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations.

Drug Firms Trimming Speaking Fees To Doctors

ProPublica examines a shift in the money that pharmaceutical companies gave physicans for promotional speeches.

ProPublica/NPR: Drugmakers Slash Spending On Doctors' Sales Talks
Some of the nation's largest pharmaceutical companies have dramatically reduced payments to health professionals for promotional speeches amid heightened public scrutiny of such spending, a ProPublica analysis shows. Eli Lilly & Co.'s payments to speakers dropped by 55 percent, from $47.9 million in 2011 to $21.6 million in 2012 (Ornstein, Sagara and Grochowski Jones, 3/4).

Meanwhile, the Supreme Court agreed to take up a case involving a pharmaceutical services company.

The Wall Street Journal: Supreme Court Takes Omnicare Challenge To Securities Suit
The plaintiff investors allege Omnicare stated falsely it had complied with relevant laws in its 2005 Securities and Exchange Commission registration to sell more than 12 million shares. The lawsuit alleges Omnicare effectively hid from investors that it paid kickbacks to nursing homes, received kickbacks from drug companies and submitted false claims to Medicare and Medicaid (Kendall, 3/3).

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