Behind The Curtain: Study Reveals Big Role of Medical Communication Companies

Everyone knows that medical information flows out of medical centers and schools, research institutions and the NIH, pharmaceutical companies, journals and medical societies. But one important information source — medical communication companies (MCCs)– “are among the most significant but least analyzed health care stakeholders,” according to Sheila Rothman and colleagues. In a new report in JAMA they set out to explore the important but poorly understood role of MCCs.

Until recently little has been known about these companies. But in recent years, either as a result of legal settlements with the government or public pressure, 14 pharmaceutical and device companies have published their grant awards on the internet. In 2010, the authors report, the 14 companies gave $170 million to MCCs, “more funds than any other recipient, including academic medical centers, professional associations, and research organizations.” Almost all the MCCs were for-profit companies. The top recipient of industry funds was Medscape/WebMD, which received more than $20,000,000, representing 12% of all awards to the MCCs.

Click here to read the full post on Forbes.

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