Can Seniors Trust Their Physicians?

We seniors would like to think that our physicians are prescribing in our own best interests, not in the interests of some pharmaceutical company with a drug to sell or a manufacturer pushing a particular test or treatment. Donna has discovered that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, a federal agency, makes available some very useful information in this regard.

The Centers’ Open Payments Data website allows users to type in a physician’s name and learn how much he or she has received from health care manufacturers in recent years in research funds, gifts, speaking fees, meals, or travel. Click here to use the site.

The website reveals that one of my favorite physicians received a grand total of $12.86 in 2015. I can live with that. Another received more than $300, but by clicking on the “$ General” heading I can see that the payments came from several companies and were mostly in the $20 range. I like to think that he was attending luncheons and seminars where he learned about new drugs and treatments without being influenced in any unscientific way. Maybe I’ll ask him one day, but probably not. I know him well enough after several years to trust his judgement.


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