A March 2007 article in the Journal of the American Medical Association told the story of pharma companies paying physicians in Vermont over $2.7 million between July 2002 and June 2004, but the advocacy group that reported the original findings now says the amount is actually much higher.
According to the organization Public Citizen, the payments total nearly $5 million and "strongly suggest" violations of American Medical Association and PhRMA professional guidelines, which restrict said payments to $100 per doctor, per occassion.
In fact, the group found that more than $3.2 million worth of the payments were greater than $100 each, representing nearly 90 percent of the payments to physicians by drug companies. Twenty-one drugmakers were said to have kept the payments under wraps. The companies involved included Abbott Labs, AstraZeneca, Bayer, Bristol-Myers Squibb, GlaxoSmithKline, Merck and Roche.
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