Revealing Industry Payments to Docs Could Spur Legislation on Conflicts: Experts

The public will learn for the first time this fall exactly how much their doctors are paid by the drug companies and devicemakers whose products they use. But don't expect it to be the end of the inquiry.

The public will learn for the first time this fall exactly how much their doctors are paid by the drug companies and devicemakers whose products they use. But don't expect it to be the end of the inquiry.

More than 80% of the 665,000 U.S. physicians receive payments of some kind from drug companies, according to recent research summarized by Harvard health policy professor Eric Campbell. "Financial relationships are incredibly frequent," Campbell told a roomful of reporters Friday at the Association of Health Care Journalists annual conference in Denver. "It is almost difficult to find physicians who don't have relationships."

Despite the ubiquity of the payments and their potential to cause doctors to steer patients toward heavily promoted products, this September will mark the first time that the public will have access to a searchable database showing who's paying whom. The disclosures are mandated under the Physician Payments Sunshine Act provision in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

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Source: Modern Healthcare