In the last six months of 2009, Pfizer, the world’s largest drug maker paid about $20 million to 4,500 doctors and other medical professionals for consulting and speaking on its behalf.
In the same period, Pfizer also paid $15.3 million to 250 academic medical centers and other research groups for clinical trials.
Comments by Dana Ullman in The Huffington Post:
The combined efforts of the drug companies and the medical profession — the “medical-industrial complex — ” have been wonderfully effective in convincing consumers worldwide that modern medicine is the most scientific discipline that has ever existed.
Over the past two decades the pharmaceutical industry has moved very far from its original high purpose of discovering and producing useful new drugs … Now primarily a marketing machine to sell drugs of dubious benefit, this industry uses its wealth and power to co-opt every institution that might stand in its way, including the US Congress, the FDA, academic medical centers, and the medical profession itself.
Drug companies defend their large profits by asserting that they spend tremendous amounts of money on research and development, but they tend to hide the fact that they spend approximately three times more money on marketing and administration.