Drug company payments to doctors and opioid prescribing patterns

3 companies spent more than $6.1 million on doctor perks
CHICAGO, Ill. (WPVI) -- There's more evidence that special perks for doctors may have been driving prescriptions for opioids.

A small number of doctors who prescribe the most painkillers are also getting a lot of attention from drug companies.

That's according to a new study in the journal of the American Medical Association.

The report says that at least 7-percent of doctors who prescribed opioids in 2015 got some kind of payment from pharmaceutical companies - for speaking, meals, or travel.

More than 6 million dollars of those payments came from three companies - Insys, Teva Pharmaceuticals USA, and Janssen.

Nearly half of all opioid overdose deaths involve prescription drugs.

Study leaders say state and federal governments should put limits on the number and amount of payments to doctors.
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