medical care

A follow up now to a story we brought you last week about doctors who get paid by drug makers to give promotional talks. The top three earning doctors in the Northwest did not return our calls for that story. But later a psychiatrist in Tacoma did. And he makes no apologies for accepting pharmaceutical payments.

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OLYMPIA, Wash. – Across the Northwest, thousands of physicians are receiving payments from drug makers. In the last three years, it all adds up to $12 million in Washington, $6 million in Oregon and $2.5 million in Idaho.

Some of that money is for drug research. Other payments are for a meal or a trip to a conference. But in many cases doctors are getting paid to give talks to other medical providers on behalf of a drug company.

Michael Gil / Flikr

In some counties in Washington, access to emergency care is among the best in the nation. But in other parts of the state there are fewer paramedics and specialists to respond to heart attacks and strokes.

A new emergency response system will reduce the time it takes for patients to get the treatment they need.