‘Trib Talk’: Opioid manufacturers spend a lot of money on the Utah doctors who prescribe their drugs

(Mark Lennihan | AP Photo) This Wednesday, Aug. 29, 2018, photo shows an arrangement of Oxycodone pills in New York.

Some Utah physicians receive tens of thousands of dollars in free meals, speaking fees and other incentives from opioid manufacturers, as pharmaceutical representatives work to build lucrative relationships with the doctors who prescribe medicine to their patients.

It’s a dynamic that is illuminated by new federal disclosure rules, and one that has come under fire as communities in Utah and around the country grapple with an opioid epidemic that puts patients on a path to addiction and, in some cases, death.

On this week’s episode of “Trib Talk,” journalist Luke Ramseth and Jennifer Plumb, a physician and health advocate, join Tribune reporter Benjamin Wood to discuss the relationship between opioid manufacturers and Utah doctors and what role those relationships play in the state’s opioid overdose rate.

“Trib Talk” is produced by Sara Weber with additional editing by Dan Harrie. Comments and feedback can be sent to tribtalk@sltrib.com, or to @bjaminwood or @tribtalk on Twitter.

Click here to listen now. Listeners can also subscribe to “Trib Talk” on SoundCloud, iTunes and Apple Podcasts, Google Play, Stitcher, Spotify and other major podcast platforms.

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