US drug and medical device companies paid a whopping $3.5 billion to doctors and hospitals in the last five months of 2013, highlighting the potential for ethical conflicts in medicine.
Nearly 550,0000 physicians and over 1300 teaching hospitals were the recipients of the payment.
"Research has shown over and over that these financial relationships influence doctors, even a meal," said John Santa, medical director for health projects with Consumers Union. "Studies also show that doctors believe it does not affect them, but strongly believe it affects other doctors." PressTV