About the Authors

Bonnie O’Connor

Affiliation Alpert School of Medicine, Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island, United States of America

Fran Pollner

Affiliation Retired Journalist, Takoma Park, Maryland, United States of America

Adriane Fugh-Berman


Affiliation Georgetown University Medical Center, Washington, District of Columbia, United States of America

Competing Interests

Bonnie O’Connor and Fran Pollner have no conflicts to disclose. Adriane Fugh-Berman has no specific conflicts, but she is a subcontractor to the George Washington School of Public Health, which is contracted to the District of Columbia Department of Health, to analyze payment data from pharmaceutical and medical device companies to healthcare providers in the District, and to create continuing education modules for the Washington DC Department of Health. Dr. Fugh-Berman directs PharmedOut, a Georgetown University Medical Center project that advances evidence-based prescribing and educates healthcare professionals about pharmaceutical marketing practices. She is a paid expert witness at the request of plaintiffs in litigation regarding pharmaceutical marketing practices.

Author Contributions

Conceived and designed the experiments: BO AFB. Performed the experiments: BO AFB FP. Analyzed the data: BO AFB FP. Wrote the paper: BO AFB FP.