NPA Values Challenge: More than 90 percent of the 300 doctors who collected the most money for speaking and consulting with drug and medical device companies last year are men.
In “Dollars for Dudes: Almost No Women Among Medical Industry’s Top-Paid Speakers, Consultants,” ProPublica reporter Charles Ornstein tackles the conflicts of interest and income disparity issues addressed in NPA’s new policy brief, Value and Values in Health Care.
If women are ahead of men in maintaining independence from industry influence, what are the reasons and implications? Read Ornstein’s article below and tell us what you think. Your responses to NPA blog posts help us refine our communications about important issues and influence the choice of initiatives we undertake.
Few women are on the list of doctors paid the most money by drug and medical device companies last year, according to a ProPublica analysis of new data released by the federal government. More than 90 percent of the 300 doctors who collected the most money for speaking and consulting are men, based on information from the new government database, called Open Payments. By comparison, men accounted for about 68 percent of active physicians in the United States in 2012, according to the Association of American Medical Colleges.
What we found adds to a growing body of evidence that male and female doctors are paid differently and may in fact practice medicine differently, though the reasons for the discrepancy are not completely clear. It’s possible that men are more willing to accept payments from drug companies than women. It’s possible that drug companies are more likely to make offers to male doctors. Or it’s possible that male doctors are simply much more likely to be in the senior positions or medical specialties that appeal to drug companies.
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