Docs' ties with matchmakers examined

The New York Times has really picked up on last week's Seattle Times story probing improper financial relationships between Wall Street and medical researchers. Today it examines professional consulting agreements which give investors access to doctors, profiling two companies which serve as matchmakers for investors and specialists. Gerson Lehrman Group of New York and Boston's Leerink Swann & Company, two companies which have become leaders in the field, are profiled. Nearly 10 percent of physicians have participated in such consulting arrangements, the paper finds. While most relationships are above board and perfectly legal, others may violate the law.

The paper gives prominent play to noted Cleveland Clinic cardiologist Dr. Eric Topol, who authored a June New England Journal of Medicine article warning of the influence of improper business relationships between physicians and investors.

- see this story from The New York Times