Drug Companies’ Payments to Doctors

 There’s a database just about everyone should know about. It lists the name of a given doctor, and it will tell you how much the doctor has received from drug companies. It includes all doctors including dentists and it says that if your doctor’s name isn’t listed it is because either you have misspelled the name or the doctor has not received anything. Preliminary to the data base which is listed by state, which you have to enter, is a list of the doctors who have received the most: Stephen Burkhart, an orthopedic surgeon, $65.3 million,  or those who have received payments most frequently, Ana Stankovic, an internist $3,623. There is also a list of all the companies who have received those payments. The database is from August 2013 to December 2016 and includes payments made to doctors and companies from drug companies and device makers. It is compiled by ProPublica, a non-profit investigative journalism site as part of a series called “Dollars for Docs” about the amount of money in the health care industry paid to various entities. Other articles for example, address “Opioid Makers, Blamed for Overdose Epidemic, Cut Back Marketing Payments to Doctors.” I was gratified that my primary care physician, is listed as having received $57, a nominal sum which may be reflective of being caught in a system rather than participating in it, and one that does not diminish my esteem or trust. It’s an instructive tool and you may choose to use it.