University Doctors Got Paid in Drug's Sales Campaign

Money for speeches highlights murky area for conflicts of interest

Sales Campaign for Controversial Drug Included Payments to University Doctors 1

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Fourteen university-affiliated physicians collected more than $400,000 from the makers of the anti-cholesterol drug Vytorin as part of a campaign to encourage the use of the medication. The 2008 campaign went on after an internal company study showed that the drug, with several billion dollars in sales, had little or no overall value for most patients.

The physicians, many of them prominent in the field of cardiovascular disease, accepted the money from the manufacturers Merck &