Medical drug companies

The Journal of General Internal Medicine recently published a study that investigated patients' awareness of physicians who receive payments from pharmaceutical and medical device firms and found that very few Americans are unaware of their doctors receiving industry payments.

As dictated by the Physician Payments Sunshine Act, a part of the Affordable Care Act, medical drug and device companies are required to report payments they make to physicians. This information is also publicly available through the Open Payments Program.

An online survey was conducted in late 2014, in which respondents were asked about their knowledge of payments in the medical industry in general, if they knew this information was publicly available, and if they were aware whether their frequent physician had received these payments.

The results of the survey were then linked to data of the respondents' physicians  found in Open Payments.

"Among the 1987 respondents who could be matched to a specific physician, 65% saw a physiciawho had received an industry payment during the previous 12 months."

Of these survey respondents, only 12% were aware that medical industry payment information was publicly available, and only a mere 5% knew if their own doctor had received payments from medical drug companies or not.

Click here to read the full study.