Jessica Flanigan, assistant professor of leadership studies and philosophy, politics, economics and law, comments.
RICHMOND (WRIC)—An 8News investigation found that Virginia physicians are being paid millions of dollars by large pharmaceutical companies.
Patients can find out if their doctors are on Big Pharma's payroll with just a few clicks.
Investigative journalists at Pro Publica have created the Dollars for Docs database, which shows which doctors have received money from pharmaceutical companies for speaking, consulting, travel and meals. Using the database is as simple as typing in a doctor's name and state.
In Virginia there are more than 6,900 payments (6,937) to doctors listed totaling nearly $33 million ($32,880,108).
"You don't want doctors to look like they work for the drug companies; you want them to be seen like they're the advocate of their patients and not the advocate of the drug company," said Jessica Flanigan, a professor at the University of Richmond who specializes in medical ethics.