Drug makers pay big money to East Tennessee docs

Dozens of East Tennessee doctors have received millions of dollars in fees from major drug
Earns Eli Lilly.JPGcompanies in recent years, according to an updated report by the ProPublica public interest website.

Some East Tennessee doctors each were paid $50,000 to $100,000 by AstraZeneca, Cephalon, Eli Lilly, Pfizer and other pharmaceutical companies, according to the “Dollars for Docs” update published Wednesday. A total of more than $20 million went to doctors throughout Tennessee from 2009 to 2011.

Payments include speaking and consulting fees, research, travel and meal costs.

Is your doctor on the list?

As the report says: “Accepting payments isn’t necessarily wrong, but it can raise ethical issues.”

ProPublica’s online report includes a searchable database with a total $761.3 million in payments to doctors that were disclosed by 12 drug companies.

You can search the database by doctor’s name, by affiliated business or institution, or by city.

Click here for the full “Dollars for Docs” report.

Click here for the searchable database.

Photo: Associated Press files.