One of the issues that Dan Ariely addressed in his book, The Honest Truth About Dishonesty, and in his 2009 blog, centered on the question of payments to doctors:
The real issue here is that people don’t understand how profound the problem of conflicts of interest really is, and how easy it is to buy people. Doctors on Pfizer’s payroll may think they’re not being influenced by the drug maker -- 'I can still be objective!' they’ll say -- but in reality, it’s very hard for us not to be swayed by money. Even minor amounts of it. Or gifts. Studies have found that doctors who receive free lunches or samples from pharmaceutical reps end up prescribing more of the company’s drugs afterwards.Propublica launched Dollars for Docs. to publicize how much doctors are paid. At this point, its data encompasses more than $2 billion in payments that 15 major drug companies made to doctors in the period from 2009 for 2012.
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