Four Drug Makers Dominate Payments to Area Practitioners - 8 News NOW

Four Drug Makers Dominate Payments to Area Practitioners

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Drug companies Eli Lilly, Pfizer, AstraZeneca and GlaxoSmithKline are the dominant players when it comes to reimbursing Southern Nevada physicians for research, speaking, consulting and other expenses.

A database prepared by the nonprofit newsroom ProPublica for the years 2009 to 2012 revealed that those four companies -- among 15 that disclosed payments to doctors -- led the pack both in Nevada and nationally.

But since those 15 companies combined make up only 47 percent of the market the database provides only a partial picture of the connection between the pharmaceutical industry and Nevada physicians.

Here's a quick take on the top four companies.

Eli Lilly

Based in Indianapolis, Eli Lilly employs nearly 38,000 workers and is valued at $54.6 billion. The company's most popular drugs include Cymbalta for depression and anxiety disorders, Zyprexa for schizophrenia, Humalog for diabetes and Alimta for lung cancer and mesothelioma. The company reimbursed physicians $490.6 million nationally and $3.1 million in Nevada from January 2009 through June 2012.

Pfizer

This New York City company, with 79,000 employees on its payroll, is valued at roughly $206 billion. Pfizer is noted for drugs such as Lipitor to fight cholesterol, Lyrica for epilepsy, Celebrex for arthritis pain, and Viagra for erectile dysfunction. The company spent $538.2 million nationally and $2.5 million in Nevada on physicians from July 2009 through September 2012.

AstraZeneca

Based in London, this company has more than 51,000 workers and is worth more than $65 billion. Some of its most popular drugs are Seroquel for schizophrenia, Crestor for cholesterol, Nexium for acid reflux and Symbicort for asthma. The company reimbursed doctors $236.1 million nationally and nearly $2.4 million in Nevada from January 2010 through September 2012.

GlaxoSmithKline

This United Kingdom company, with a market value of roughly $128 billion, employs nearly 100,000 people. Popular GlaxoSmithKline drugs include Advair for asthma, Lovaza for high triglyceride levels, Avodart to address prostate enlargement and Lamictal for epilepsy. The company reimbursed doctors by amounts of $238.6 million nationally and $1.9 million in Nevada from April 2009 through September 2012.

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