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Resource ID: #19832
Subject: Medicine
Source: New York Times
Date: 2002-03-04



An investigation by the New York Times revealed that "just two companies could determine which life-saving drugs and other medical products most of the nation's hospitals bought and at what price. As national gatekeepers for billions of dollars in hospitals supply contracts, these two companies used their unregulated power to enrich themselves through pervasive conflicts of interest and self dealing... Until the Times examined them, these two for-profit companies, Premier and Novation, operated as they wished. They claimed they saved hospitals money by buying in bulk -- but never had to prove it. As private companies with no government oversight, they refused to disclose how they did business, including how much money the makers of the drugs and medical devices were paying them to get supply contracts. In this environment, Premier executives collected millions in personal stock options from the very manufacturers whose company products they were supposed to evaluate objectively. The buying companies steered thousands of hospitals to manufacturers in which the buying companies themselves had a financial interest."

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