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Two years after the U.S. government launched a database of drug company payments to physicians, the effort raised awareness that the data is publicly available, but did not increase the extent to which Americans know whether their own doctors received a payment, according to a new study in BMJ Open.

Just 13 percent of those queried knew payment information was publicly available and only 3 percent knew whether their doctor received payments. When also considering a recent study showing just 1.5 percent of Americans accessed the data, the researchers suggested the OpenPayments database “has fallen well short of its aspiration to better inform patients of their physicians’ industry relationships.”

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  • Useful post, mr ed, and I agree with Paul Thacker:

    “Healthcare delivery in America is so complex that I can’t imagine patients spending time looking up their doctor. They waste too much time figuring out insurance and pharmacy benefit managers,” BUT my take is that if it puts a small does of caution / prudent fear into healthcare providers, it has a value. It can also be used retrospectively to ‘follow the money’ so again, a preventative measure, no?

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