Early Review: Open Payments Database Not So Open
The new federal website, which was created to provide information about financial links between physicians and the drug industry, is not user-friendly, notes The Associated Press. Meanwhile, The Wall Street Journal digs into the data to see what it shows about the ties between medical professionals and the drug industry.
The Associated Press: Gov’t Website For Doc Payments Not Up To Snuff
Although it's called "Open Payments," the government's new website doesn't make it easy to find out whether your doctor is getting freebies, travel or other financial benefits from drug companies and medical device manufacturers. This should be a clue: The website lacks a "Find Your Doctor" button (Alonso-Zaldivar and Gillium, 10/2).
The Wall Street Journal: Payments Reveal Range Of Doctors' Ties With Industry
Some of the doctors who received the biggest payments last year from drug and medical-device companies got them for purposes that had nothing to do with patient care. An analysis of a government database released Tuesday, which disclosed some $3.5 billion in industry payments to physicians in the last five months of 2013, revealed that several doctors who no longer practice medicine earned large sums for serving on corporate boards or writing software used in laser-surgery machines. Companies continue to spend heavily in hopes of getting doctors to use more of their drugs and devices. But the data underscore the variety of ties industry has forged with physicians for purposes beyond influencing their prescribing habits (Whalen, Walker and Rockoff, 10/1).
The Wall Street Journal's Pharmalot: How Much? A Glaxo Goof Remains In The Sunshine Database
File this under 'Things are not always what they seem.' The old adage seems to apply to the newly launched Open Payments database launched this week by the federal government. ... the database lists two payments totaling nearly $2.9 million made in 2013 by GlaxoSmithKline to Stuart Winter, the vice chair for pediatric research at the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Centers. ... As it turns out, the listing is an error. How so? Glaxo goofed. A spokeswoman explains that Winter was the principal investigator for Arranon research, but the payment was sent to the National Cancer Institute, not Winter (Silverman, 10/1).