A study by the medical journal, PLOS ONE,, finds that in 2013, 39% of Medicare Part D prescribers in Washington, DC received gifts from pharmaceutical companies totaling $3.9 million. Compared to non-gift recipients, gift recipients prescribed 2.3 more claims per patient, prescribed medications costing $50 more per claim, and prescribed 7.8% more branded drugs. Physicians who received small gifts (less than $500 annually) had more expensive claims ($114 vs. $85) and more branded claims (30.3% vs. 25.7%) than physicians who received no gifts. Those receiving large gifts (greater than $500 annually) had the highest average costs per claim ($189) and branded claims (39.9%) than other groups.
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