Data on Fees to Doctors Is Called Hard to Parse

Publication: The New York Times

Author: Duff Wilson

04/12/2010 - Pfizer recently became the latest big drug maker to start disclosing payments to doctors who act as consultants or speakers. But many followers of the pharmaceutical industry are still finding it far too difficult to follow the money.

Industry bloggers and advocates for disclosure say the companies’ Web sites are not easy enough to use for patients or others who want to know which doctors are most financially entwined with drug makers.

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Allan Coukell, director of the Pew Prescription Project, said the government and university officials in charge of disclosure compliance could also use PharmaShine to check whether the proper reports were being made and to monitor their doctors’ outside business activities.

“You could do it one by one, but that would be awfully time-consuming,” Mr. Coukell said. The Prescription Project, a consumer interest effort of the nonprofit Pew Charitable Trusts, was a tester of PharmaShine before its official introduction.

Read the full report Data on Fees to Doctors Is Called Hard to Parse on the New York Times' Web site.

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