A decade ago, a big push began to force drug makers to disclose payments to doctors for speaking, consulting, travel, and research. The campaign was controversial, but reflected concerns that medical practice and research may be unduly influenced by financial ties, and it ultimately led to the creation of a federal database that collects industry payments.
Now, though, a group of researchers sought to quantify the extent to which such efforts may have had on actual prescribing. And they found a drop in prescriptions for three types of widely used medicines in Massachusetts, a state that was among the first to require companies to report payments. The law went into effect in July 2009, a few years before the OpenPayments federal database.