Opioid manufacturers are paying U.S. doctors huge sums of money for speaking, consulting, and other services—and the more opioids a doctor prescribes, the more money he or she gets paid by those same manufacturers, according to a new analysis from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Harvard Medical School (HMS), and CNN.
The study found that, in 2014 and 2015, opioid manufacturers paid hundreds of doctors sums in the six figures, while thousands more were paid over $25,000.
“I don’t know if the money is causing the prescribing or the prescribing led to the money, but in either case, it’s potentially a vicious cycle. It’s cementing the idea for these physicians that prescribing this many opioids is creating value,” said Michael Barnett, assistant professor of health policy and management at Harvard Chan School, in a CNN.com article. Barnett co-authored the study with Anupam Jena of HMS.
Read the CNN article: CNN Exclusive: The more opioids doctors prescribe, the more money they make
Physicians’ opioid prescribing patterns linked to patients’ risk for long-term drug use (Harvard Chan School release)
An opioid emergency (Harvard Chan School podcast)