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Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Detailing Financial Links of Doctors and Drug Makers

Yoday's post is shared from
Pharmaceutical and device makers paid doctors roughly $380 million in speaking and consulting fees, with some doctors reaping over half a million dollars each, during a five-month period last year, according to an analysis of federal data released Tuesday. Other doctors made millions of dollars in royalties from products they helped develop.
The data sheds new light on the often murky financial ties between physicians and the health care industry. From August to December 2013, drug and device companies made 4.4 million payments to more than half a million health care professionals and teaching hospitals — adding up to about $3.5 billion.
The lucrative arrangements are just some of the findings of the online database, which provides one of the most detailed looks at the payments health care professionals receive from drug and medical device companies. The website also allows consumers to find information about their own doctors to determine whether they might have conflicts of interest.
The site, required by the recent health care law, is part of a broader push for transparency. Proponents say such disclosures are an important tool to help limit drug and device makers’ influence on doctors.
But the website is being questioned by the industry, which says that technical problems and data inaccuracies limit its value. For example, about 40 percent of the records do not tie back to a specific professional or teaching hospital, accounting for 64 percent of the overall...
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