Is Your Doctor Getting Drug Kickbacks?

by Sarah Activism, Healthy LivingComments: 41
Money Hand Holding Bankroll Girls February 08, 20117
Is Your Doctor Being Paid Off For Prescriptions?

Doctors are making money – LOTS of money for prescribing drugs to you and your family.  How much?   Check out the detailed infographic below for the shocking statistics.  These kickbacks sway their prescribing decisions and any doctor who claims otherwise is in La La Land.

The practice of drug kickbacks to doctors is a big reason for the the ever increasing prices of drugs and the huge problem of drug affordability.

Not only is this practice of drug kickbacks extremely unethical, it is a danger to your health and the health of your loved ones, particularly if they are in the hospital and vulnerable to exploitation due to serious illness.

Laws that will take effect by 2013 will require all pharmaceutical companies to disclose their payments to doctors.  This is not enough, however, as doctors asked about their drug kickbacks usually report biased information that their patients readily believe.  Protect yourself!   Learn the facts and check the national database that lists doctors who are receiving drug kickbacks.


Doctors on Drugs




Picture Credit

Comments (41)

  • Rachel

    Hey Sarah,

    I am always astounded by how we place so much trust in our doctors and yet they take advantage of it. Compromising what they stand for – for money. Greed sitting at the forfront. Because of this very factor, I choose to be assessed by Western medicine, but would want Eastern ideology to fix my problems using our doctors as the last possible measure. Thanks for a great post. Seeing some of those figures really shocked me.


    January 26th, 2016 3:37 pm Reply
  • Mike Riley

    I knew the hematology dr I saw 3 times was getting a kickback. He true to push lovenox on me when he knew I could not afford the drug! He didn’t want to discuss any cheaper alternatives….600.00 a month with insurance! Then finally he told me my pcp could prescribe warfarin.Thank God….5.00 a month.

    August 16th, 2015 4:41 pm Reply
  • Mori Goldlist

    This is why doctors do not treat illnesses in Canada, they treat symptoms. It is not a “Health Care System” that exists here, it is a “Sick Care System”. And Why not? There is no money for the drug company shareholders if the population is healthy.

    A Health Care System heals patients to make and keep them HEALTHY. The Sick Care System” treats symptoms to keep the “patients” unhealthy for as long as they can keep them alive. They can’t keep their enormous profits flowing with a healthy population. They also stop their earning on a patient that dies. So the Medical System in Canada, a new motto… “KEEP ‘EM SICK BUT KEEP ‘EM ALIVE”. Pills Pay!!!

    September 17th, 2013 12:17 am Reply
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  • Don Siedenburg

    My 89 year old wife, who was in an Alzheimer’s Ward in a nursing home for two years
    before she died, was prescribed Boniva and Aricept which she experienced violent reactions. She was also prescribed medications (blood thinner) for heart flutter, gout, diabetes, high choresterol, and high blood pressure. She had a Living Will with permission to stop any medication except for pain. When I questioned this treatment I was told that if I did not agree with their procedure, I would have 30 days to take her out of the facility. I was helpless to help her. My question is, do you suppose the doctor was getting kick backs for the prescriptions and they were extending her life for the money? Is there someone out there with an opinion?

    May 4th, 2013 10:56 pm Reply
  • Jackie

    Hi Sarah!

    Just wanted to say thanks again for this article and for inspiring us to write our own.
    And for teaching us about raw butter :) very tasty and sweet.

    April 26th, 2013 2:44 pm Reply
  • i-lawsuit

    For Sarah, I don’t think that this applies to ALL doctors..I agree they should emphasize that this is only some doctors

    However my friend recently worked as the admin position (fairly entry-level) at a cancer treatment center. I remember staring in AWE that literally every single day, she was taken out to a 5-star restaurant. Literally the best ones in Los Angeles (Mastros etc) and getting Godiva and other treats sent to her office almost daily. Keep in mind- she’s admin. Not even a doctor and she was included in the presents and dinners

    Kind of blows my mind really.

    April 12th, 2013 12:38 pm Reply
  • Sarah Azad

    This is all just not true. I am an OB/GYN in private practice I get a LOT of requests from patients, even hear in California, a healthier part of the US, for a pill to fix things. Very few patients are willing to diet and exercise.
    Are doctors over prescribing drugs? probably. Does that mean it’s cuz they’re getting paid to do so? That’s not true. The vast majority of money from Pharma to MDs is in consultation fees for speaking at big talks. One of your drawings says 380 doctors were paid over 100,000 by big Pharma. There are almost ONE MILLION of us out there. There are just a handful of academics that fill these roles. The rest of us aren’t even allowed to get pens from Pharma. Do they spend money advertising, yes. But more on direct-to-consumer advertising, thanks to their huge lobbing power, that’s now legal. So all of us have patients coming in asking about the pill they saw on TV.

    The biggest reason patients are on so many meds in the US is because most of them don’t want to eat right or take the time to exercise. Even those who shun “western” medicine, go to the “alternative practitioners” and spend just as much on their “herbs”. Everyone is looking for a quick fix.

    Complex issues shouldn’t be lied about, unless you actually care for a solution.

    December 23rd, 2012 10:22 pm Reply
    • tina

      Really! I as a patient have seen on numerous occassions pharmacutical compains handing out gift cards to the doctors and staff, and not to mention all the gifts, i.e. dinners, trips, etc.

      April 23rd, 2015 5:42 pm Reply
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  • Peggy

    My husband watches movies. A LOT of movies. We have, in the last couple years seen two that he enjoyed that I just couldn’t: Love and Other Drugs and Side Effects. While it’s true these movies are dramatized, there are just so many sources that are saying the exact same thing. “Comfortably Numb” by Charles Barber, “The Emperor’s New Drugs” by Irving Kirsch, “Death by Prescription” by Ray Strand…there are just too many people saying the same things to ignore.

    The last good doctor we had was in 1990. He talked to us about nutrition and lifestyle EVERY TIME we came to him. He also discussed homeopathy, massage therapy, and any number of alternative treatments, whatever he thought might help us. His prescription pad was often his last line of defense. He does not take insurance of any kind. How I miss him.

    June 17th, 2011 12:06 pm Reply
  • Noemi Varga via Facebook

    I found mine…hmmm

    June 10th, 2011 5:45 pm Reply
  • Kate @ Modern Alternative Mama

    Since I don’t go to any mainstream doctor, I’m sure mine isn’t on there. :) And I’d be surprised if my kids’ doctor was because last time I saw him his advice was: “Yeah, keep doing the GAPS diet, that’s the best thing right now.” Yeah, a board-certified pediatrician told me that! His only concern was them getting enough vit D via cod liver oil…but he didn’t try to sell me anything, he just told me to check the dosage and make sure they were getting a particular amount. Can do, Dr….

    June 10th, 2011 2:34 pm Reply
  • Katie

    My husband is a great doctor at a hospital. My blood pressure rises when I hear people complain about doctors, say how much money they make, and criticize them for prescribing meds.
    My points:
    1. They teach doctors about MEDICINE in MEDICAL SCHOOL. How to save lives.
    2. Doctors don’t have time to chit-chat with everyone about nutrition and exercise because they are too over worked and dealing with paper work and families. I hear stories everyday.
    3. Doctors work extremely hard to get where they are, society forgets how hard they worked, how much debt they go into to help people. All society sees is the current income.
    4. I know not all doctors are honest and want the best for their patients, but it’s up to the patient to discern this and take some responsibility for themselves.
    5. If you invent a drug that works and saves lives, and this takes a long time to get FDA approval, then I think you have the right to charge as much money for each pill that you want. How about we get thankful for the scientist spending so much time and energy inventing.
    6. Stop complaining and take responsibility for your health! Diabetes is curable, go on the Daniel fast, see what happens.

    June 10th, 2011 2:30 pm Reply
    • Melinda

      It’s great your husband is a wonderful doctor. Some of us have had experiences with docs (who also went to “MEDICAL SCHOOL” to learn “how to save lives”) that were not so great. It’s clear from the content of this article that there are many doctors whose primary interest is making money, even at the cost of the patient’s health.

      It’s interesting that you view a conversation about nutrition and exercise, that may save a patient’s health and well being at low cost, as “chit chat.” I’d view it as potentially life saving. But, that’s just me.

      It’s easy to tell people to take responsibility for their own health, and in a better world probably more would. But in today’s America, where people are struggling just to get by, it’s ridiculous to think people have much time to do this kind of research. If they can afford to visit a doctor, shouldn’t they be able to be confident the doctor has THEIR best interest at heart, and not his own pocket?

      One of the important points in the article is that drugs are so expensive NOT because of the research and approval process, but because of the costs of marketing them. That’s crazy. I believe we’re the ONLY developed country that permits the ads we see constantly on TV. Other countries wisely believe it’s better for the doctors to be well informed. Is it really smart for me, a non-medical person, to see an ad, think maybe that drug might help me, and go request it from the doctor? Again, it’s crazy.

      June 10th, 2011 3:22 pm Reply
    • Concern Citizen

      You are so right Katie. I don’t fault the poor Doctor who spent so much on medical school because they care about the well being of people. I just wish they informed people about the alternatives, all the options they have and provide information where they can go for alternative treatment if that’s what they want. But that would be naïve to think they would do this. I really fault the Government, the system of the medical profession. Why over all these years, has nothing been done to steer this country in another direction? I’ll tell you why. Its all about the money. The Government is controlled by the Lobbying interest of the Medical and Pharmaceutical Industries and all the ancillary industries that profit ridiculously from this system. And we all pay in higher medical cost, drug cost, and other abuses of fraud, outright lies and misinformation and propaganda finance by this sinister System. I think you get my point. There are so may examples of these abuses that I have made it my personal ministry to fight against it.

      June 8th, 2014 1:50 pm Reply
    • c

      You are getting wife of a doctor kickbacks. Of course this article upsets YOU

      February 12th, 2015 10:28 am Reply
  • Donnie Norris

    Years ago I noticed that my mother’s doctor in Maysville, Kentucky was prescribing the most expensive drugs possible when one a lot cheaper would do the same thing. She is diabetic and also the taxpayers have to pay her doctor and drug bills through Medicare. I told her the doctor was getting paid by the drug company in vacations or something. At the time I had no way to prove it. It was just a feeling. Now I do. He is the only Endocrinologist in town and got over $93,000 in kickbacks since 2009. That is more than the amount we live on together. I think that is disgusting. I better stop before I say something that will get me in trouble. I’ve always known he was a crook.

    June 10th, 2011 1:05 pm Reply
  • D.

    It isn’t really the doctors who are in “La La Land” — it’s the patients. They ask for the drugs. Of course, the doctors are usually loathe to say no, but still, the patients expect to leave with a prescription in hand. Yes they do. No one moreso than young Mom’s with sick kids (unless they’re wise to the system). Medicine is big business, it’s certainly not health care. This was discovered to be a fact back in the 1980’s when Reagan was our give-away president.

    June 10th, 2011 12:38 pm Reply
  • marie

    How do I enter the give aways. Can you direct me on this site?

    Thank you

    June 10th, 2011 12:15 pm Reply
  • Brittnee Turner Horting via Facebook

    I only go to the doctor when I’m pregnant…and they aren’t on the list. I’m actually very happy with my OB doctors (I go to an office where you see all 6 doctors) and trust them. I still check though… :)

    June 10th, 2011 11:07 am Reply
  • Shelby

    A more natural doctor who practiced in a town near mine simply prescribed vitamins, at best. She was getting known for her “natural” ways. But good things don’t last long. You guessed it, the hospital let her go because she simply wasn’t bringing in enough money for the hospital! She probably spent much needed time counseling patients on the habits of nutrition and not just writing a prescription and moving on to the next patient. It’s not just the doctors; it’s the hospitals too!

    June 10th, 2011 10:50 am Reply
  • Fuj Meister via Facebook

    Investigating this is like investigating how many drivers are speeding on the NASCAR circuit… what’s the point?

    June 10th, 2011 10:32 am Reply
  • sara

    I had a doctor try to prescribe me medication for a condition that I didn’t have symptoms for. When I did more research and pointed this out to me, his argument was that he knew better because he was the doctor, and what pharmacy should he send the prescription to?

    umm…no. Turns out I didn’t have that condition after all, and I never went back to that doctor. I am convinced that my original reason for going to him was justified, but since changing my diet and learning more about REAL healthy eating, I no longer have those issues (hypothyroidism). So good riddance to him.

    June 10th, 2011 10:24 am Reply
  • Cassandra

    I used to work in a family practice clinic that was supposedly a more eclectic, natural living type clinic that had CNMs to deliver babies, an acupuncturist, a physical therapy unit with a chiropractor and LMTs. Most of my day was spent handling prescriptions. Every Tuesday and Thursday drug reps were allowed to cater lunch so they could trap people in the lunch room and drone on about their products. It wasn’t just the doctors, the assistants and receptionists got it too – hoping maybe we would make some suggestions to patients? Then they would make follow-up visits, bringing chocolates, fruit baskets, flowers, gift cards, cutesy knickknacks, and rumor was, expensive dinners after hours. How many reps allowed in the clinic on one day was limited and the sign-up sheet was booked for months. Shouldn’t have come as a surprise when the clinic owner started up an extremely expensive weight loss program using (soy based) meal replacements and started handing out phentermine like it was candy. Anyone who disagreed with anything that went on in that office was fired. Really glad I was among the large number of people who did :)

    June 10th, 2011 10:18 am Reply
  • Nicki Morin Black via Facebook

    My mom is a retired OB/GYN RN for a private practice. Every week the drug reps would come in with vast spreads of gourmet foods and goodies to butter up the office staff and docs in the practice. Docs rec’d add’l perks in the form of couple getaways, country club memberships, up to complete family vacations (and we wonder why/how docs are away from the office so often), based upon how many drugs they bought. More drugs = bigger perks. This is the absolute truth, and the con perpetuates today.

    June 10th, 2011 10:00 am Reply
  • Lisa Griffiths via Facebook

    (witness Africa …..)

    June 10th, 2011 9:30 am Reply
  • Lisa Griffiths via Facebook

    Welcome to corporate medicine

    June 10th, 2011 9:29 am Reply
  • Sarrah Broad via Facebook

    A Canadian Dr.’s perspective on the “doctors getting kickbacks” issue:

    June 10th, 2011 9:27 am Reply
  • thehealthyhomeeconomist via Facebook

    My doctor isn’t either! If he/she was, I would get another one ASAP.

    June 10th, 2011 9:15 am Reply
  • Sharon Catney Donovan via Facebook

    yea–looks like mine is not on there, but who knows!

    June 10th, 2011 9:05 am Reply
  • Dilli Gaff via Facebook

    doctor? aint been to one except ER twice for bee stings in over 15 years

    June 10th, 2011 8:55 am Reply
  • Pavil, the Uber Noob

    As usual, if something stinks in America, just follow the $$$.
    Good post, Ms. Healthy Home Economist.

    Ciao, Pavil

    June 9th, 2011 9:45 pm Reply
  • Jeanmarie

    Wow, those are some stunning numbers. Thanks for posting this.

    June 9th, 2011 8:55 pm Reply
  • Hannah

    This is mind blowing! It’s so sad to me to see charts like these. I can’t help but wonder why the companies listed above have been allowed to stay in business. When are people going to get it?

    “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” –Lord Acton–

    We need to realize that, when we leave the collective power of our health in the hands of healthcare providers, the system is going to collapse someday. America and most of the world’s healthcare systems are poised on the verge of it. That’s why we need to put our energy into creating a new way to encourage and promote health in our families.

    The best way we can do this is by “letting food be our medicine”, and letting knowledge of natural remedies be our standby. So let’s put allopathic medicine in the place it has proved it’s worth – acute care.

    June 9th, 2011 6:54 pm Reply
  • Stanley Fishman

    Great post! People often forget that “their doctor” often has a direct financial incentive to prescribe drugs to them . I wonder how many drugs are prescribed just so the doctors can make more money?

    All too often “patients” are viewed as a source of income, rather than a real person who needs healing.

    June 9th, 2011 5:55 pm Reply
  • Melissa @ Dyno-mom

    A close friend of my husband’s is a physician, and a good one at that. There is so much pressure to prescribe drugs and procedures and it negatively influences doctors. He bucks the trend and allows his patient’s bodies time to heal themselves and often recommends against surgery. But I have other doctors jump on the bandwagon and just pull out the prescription pads. I honestly worry about the care that other families are getting.

    June 9th, 2011 5:05 pm Reply
    • HA

      Any chance he lives anywhere near Lexington, Kentucky? We need a good physician referral.

      November 19th, 2013 1:09 pm Reply

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