Pharmaceutical companies will soon be required to disclose payments that they make to doctors. The aim is to increase transparency, and ensure that doctors influenced by these payments do not make medical decisions that impact patient safety and increase healthcare costs.
Every year, thousands of doctors across the country receive payments from pharmaceutical drug companies. Doctors are paid for research they conduct, as well as for consulting and speaking engagements. Besides making cash gifts, many companies also pay doctors in the form of dinners and vacations. There are a large number of doctors across the country who receive such payments from pharmaceutical companies. In fact, the pharmaceutical drug industry spends millions of dollars every year on such payments.
Several studies have indicated that doctors can be influenced by the payments that they receive from pharmaceutical companies. These doctors, it has been found, are much more likely to contribute to high costs of medical care by prescribing more expensive drugs, or recommending medical devices even when they are not necessary.