For nearly two decades, Dr. Neal Hermanowicz has led the movement disorders program at UC Irvine, where he earns more than $380,000 a year in salary and bonuses. The widely respected expert on Parkinson’s and Huntington’s diseases adds to his income by consulting for drug companies.
Since 2014, 11 pharmaceutical companies have paid him a total of at least $588,000 in consulting and speaking fees and honorariums, according to federal data. For example, he has received more than $225,000 in speaking and consulting fees from San Diego-based Acadia Pharmaceuticals, manufacturer of a controversial drug for Parkinson’s-related psychosis. In 2017, he was the company’s highest-paid physician consultant in the U.S. That year, he prescribed the drug more than 180 times, costing patients or their insurers more than $445,000.