N.Y. reporter finds local doctors in ProPublica database

Writing for Gannett’s Binghamton, N.Y., Press & Sun-Bulletin, Julia Hunter localized ProPublica’s investigation of pharmaceutical companies and disciplined doctors by starting with the nonprofit’s database, then adding some investigation of her own. She names names, talks with local physicians and uncovers anecdotes.

There are plenty of tales of medical malfeasance, including that of Dr. Robert Douenias, who lied about a previous criminal conviction when applying for a New York medical license. Until recently, Douenias had spoken on behalf of Avodart to prevent prostate cancer. “He said he stopped because he didn’t want to be associated with the controversial practice of speaking on behalf of pharmaceutical companies.” The FDA has since “voted against the approval of Avodart as a cancer risk-reduction method.”

Hospital management says it wasn’t aware of the physician’s previous conviction, and that it wouldn’t be looking into it further. After all, Hunter writes, “99 percent of patient surveys indicated a ‘good’ or ‘excellent’ experience with Douenias.”

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