CMS launched the Open Payments Website as an effort to provide transparency into the relationship between American medicine and the drug and medical device industries.
But the Open Payments Website has had issues since its inception, including a glitch that shut down the entire website. Access to the online records was suspended after doctors of the same name noticed they were credited with payments made to the other and, shortly after, CMS announced that one third of records would be withheld at the time of the Open Payments launch.
Other reported issues with the Open Payments site included misspellings, mixed up payments, and missing information. According to ProPublica/New York Times’ “The Upshot”, errors continue to plague the system.
However, things may be looking up with the latest release of data revealing U.S. doctors and teaching hospitals received $6.49 billion from drug and medical-device makers in 2014
Among the drug companies making the largest payments were Pfizer Inc., with $234 million in research payments and $53.3 million in general outlays; Merck & Co. with $97.7 million for research and $27.5 million in general payments; and AstraZeneca Plc with $85.7 million in research and $72.5 million in general payments.
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