Tuesday, October 19, 2010

ProPublica's Pharm Payoff for Doctors Database -- Who's Local?

Posted on Tue, Oct 19, 2010 at 4:01 PM

The nonprofit investigative reporting outfit ProPublica released yet another awesome project today, this time centered on the financial relationships between drug companies and medical professionals -- the arguably unseemly, the blatantly sleazy and perhaps, in some cases, the actually illegal. Titled "Dollars for Docs," the package includes a story that runs down current lawsuits charging that companies were actively paying doctors to push certain drugs -- a crime -- and another detailing how pharmaceutical companies keep sketchy docs on the in-house payroll

As an adjunct to its reporting, ProPublica published an interactive database containing all the payoffs from drug manufacturers to doctors that it could find -- "[m]ore than $257 million to some 17,700 doctors and other practitioners," according to project editor Stephen Engleberg. Unfortunately, their database is not searchable by city. Scrolling through the thousands of entries pertaining to California, we found only one local: Dr. Donald Baird of Fortuna, who is reported as having taken nearly $50,000 from Eli Lilly and AstraZeneca.

But that was only a first pass. Who else can you find? Use the widget below.

UPDATE: Another local hit on the database is Madeleine Santos Ramos of Eureka Allergy and Asthma Care, listed as having taken $4,775 from Merck for unspecified services. Patient of one of these doctors? Read ProPublica's "How Patients Can Use This Data."

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