Psychiatrists the main targets of drug companies in Vermont

John O'Brien Jul. 11, 2008, 1:10pm

MONTPELIER, Vt. (Legal Newsline) - Eli Lilly and Co. topped all pharmaceutical companies that marketed their products in Vermont last fiscal year, state Attorney General William Sorrell recently announced.

Eighty-four companies filed reports with the State, as they are required to do by state law. Of those companies, a handful spent 56 percent of all marketing funds reported.

The aggregate amount continued to grow, increasing to more than $3 million after $2.25 was spent the previous fiscal year.

"This report shows, once again, that the pharmaceutical industry has too much influence over the practice of medicine in Vermont," Sorrell said. "It is particularly troubling that the industry is paying large sums of money to influence prescribing practices involving psychiatric drugs."

Psychiatrists received the most, an average of $56,944 from July 1, 2006-June 30, 2007. A total of $626,379 was spent marketing psychiatric drugs.

Of the 10 drugs that were marketed most, two treat Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, two treat Depression and another treats Bi-Polar Disorder and Schizophrenia.

Overall, the top five spenders were Eli Lilly (its ADHD drug Strattera was marketed the most of any drug), Pfizer, UCB, Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corp. and Merck & Co.

The second-most targeted category of doctors was physicians who specialize in cardiovascular disease, and third were physicians specializing in internal medicine.

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