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In the latest attempt to examine financial ties between physicians and drug makers, a new study finds that oncologists who received payments for meals, travel, and consulting were more likely to prescribe medicines sold by the companies who provided the largesse.

Specifically, the odds were 78 percent greater that oncologists would prescribe certain brand-name drugs for treating renal cell carcinoma if they had received some type of payment from one of the manufacturers. And the odds were 29 percent higher they would prescribe certain brand-name medicines for treating chronic myeloid leukemia if they had received a payment.


The pattern is troubling because the cancer drugs can have significant side effects and high monthly costs, according to Dr. Aaron Mitchell, a fellow in the UNC School of Medicine division of hematology and oncology and the lead author. The preliminary findings will be presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology Annual Meeting 2017 in Chicago on Saturday.

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