Some Docs Snub Handouts From Drug Firms

Researchers forgo consulting fees to protect reputations
By Greg Atwan,  Newser User
Posted Apr 15, 2008 10:43 AM CDT
Bottles of Zyprexa pictured at a Eli Lilly and Co facility in Plainfield, Ind., Friday, Jan. 11, 2008.    (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)
camera-icon View 2 more images

(Newser) – Academic scientists are retreating from their traditional cushy advisory roles with drug and medical companies or doing work pro bono, the New York Times reports. Researchers offered fees for advice once didn't think twice. “People thought they were suckers if they didn’t,” one med school professor says. But now, many cite concerns over ethics or reputation as reason to give up the cash.

Drug companies pay docs upwards of $50,000 to serve on advisory boards, meaning that a conscience can be expensive. But a new wave of medical professionals say it’s worth it not to have their credibility impugned. “It is simpler when I talk to reporters,” an oncologist reports. “It is simpler when I give lectures.”