Industry mutes doctors

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Drugmakers are paying less to get doctors talking, reports ProPublica, which has found the the industry has slashed the amount of money it spends on speakers' fees.

As examples, the nonprofit notes that Eli Lilly spent 55% less on speakers in 2012 than it did in 2011, Pfizer spent 62% less and Novartis whittled its speaker spend by 40%. In terms of numbers, this comes down to Lilly spending $21.6 million in 2012, compared to $47.9 million three years ago, while Pfizer dropped only $8.3 million on speakers in 2012, compared to $22 million in 2011.

ProPublica notes that not all companies have reduced their spend and that some companies attributed their reduced speakers' budgets to lack of pipeline excitement as opposed to fear of Sunshine Act disclosures.

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