Doctors_money_drug

Doctors_money_drug

It’s no secret that many doctors get paid by pharmaceutical companies to talk to other docs—about general conditions, research trends or specific drugs—or to provide expertise for company research. But what has long been undisclosed is the amount of money that these drug-makers were giving physicians for their time.

Thanks in part to some high-profile U.S. federal court settlements, some of that information has started to come into public view. But because payment information has been reported differently by different companies, it’s been hard to glean a clear sense of just how much money many of these doctors were making. Although figures on prescription patterns are difficult to obtain, many worry that money, meals and trips from pharmaceutical companies could bias doctors’ prescribing habits.

A new “Dollars to Docs” database, assembled in part by the investigative journalism organization ProPublica, now allows people to look up the names of their health provider to see how much they might have collected recently from some of the major pharmaceutical companies—a figure that might have been unclear even to the doctors themselves, Tracy Weber, a ProPublica reporter who worked on the project, said in a conference call on Thursday.

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