Database Reveals $3.5 Billion in Payments to Doctors
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Thursday, October 02, 2014 03:26 PM

Nearly $3.5 billion in industry payments and gifts to doctors were made public Tuesday in a new government database intended to highlight conflicts of interest.  The first round of "Sunshine Act" data includes payments that were made by drug and device manufacturers to clinicians and teaching hospitals.  The data available Tuesday includes 4.4 million payments made during the last five months of 2013.

The online system, created by the Affordable Care Act, is intended to shed light on financial ties between doctors and businesses that could influence prescriptions and other medical decisions.

"This is an opportunity for the public to learn about the relationships among healthcare providers, and pharmaceutical and device companies," Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Administrator Marilyn Tavenner said in a statement.

"From day one, the Physician Payments Sunshine Act database will be helpful in shining light on a part of medicine most people haven't had the time or opportunity to consider," Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) said in a statement.