Drug Companies Spend Thousands On WV Gifts

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

Charleston, WV (AP) -- A new state report says that in 2008, drug manufacturers gave nearly three gifts for every West Virginia doctor and nurse allowed to prescribe medicine.

The value of the gifts ranged from $100 to roughly $127,000, although the vast majority were below $2,500.

A total amount for all the gifts wasn't compiled, but there were 15,380 in a state where 5,152 doctors or nurse practitioners can prescribe medicine.

Ken Johnson, Senior Vice President of the drug industry group Phrma, says marketing costs are part of any business.

Johnson notes that drug companies annually donate about $60 million worth of medications to free clinics in West Virginia.

The report was released at a legislative interim committee meeting Thursday.

(Copyright 2009 by the Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

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