Doctors receive money in return for delivering lectures about drugs to other doctors. Some of the doctors receiving the most money sit on committees that prepare guidelines instructing doctors nationwide about when to use medicines. Dr. Allan Collins may be the most influential kidney specialist in the country.
In 2004, the year he was chosen as president-elect of the kidney foundation, the pharmaceutical company Amgen, which makes the most expensive drugs used in the treatment of kidney disease, underwrote more than $1.9 million worth of research and education programs led by Dr. Collins, according to records examined by The New York Times. In 2005, Amgen paid Dr. Collins at least $25,800, mostly in consulting and speaking fees, the records show
Most doctors say these types of payments have no effect on their care of patients. Do you believe it?