- EXCLUSIVE by Sue Dunlevy 23 Feb 2010
- From: The Daily Telegraph
PATIENT support groups and doctors are receiving millions of dollars a year from pharmaceutical companies under a grant system that is raising questions about their independence.
A Daily Telegraph investigation found one of the nation’s largest drug firms, Pfizer Australia, gave more than $1.7 million to 18 health organisations in 2008 and 2009.
The drug company Glaxco-Smith- Kline last year spent $1.3 million sponsoring 14 consumer health groups such as the Asthma Foundation, the Cancer Council, Diabetes Australia and MS Australia. And drug companies are also spending more than a $1 million a week wining and dining doctors.
The donations have previously been secret but the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission made it mandatory from January 1 for drug companies to make public which health groups they sponsored.
In some cases, consumer health organisations such as Impotence Australia and the Australian Lung Foundation owe their existence to drug company seed funding.
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