Friday, March 04, 2005

Comments by Hgstern and Chargemaster Regarding the Public Register of Physician-Drug Company Transactions

I agree with both of you on the importance of empowering patients with information. The question I have is whether all information is beneficial. To me, the information detailed in this public register doesn't seem helpful and in fact may cause confusion and mistrust out of proportion to its benefits.

I would like to know if my doctor gets sued a lot or lost his or her license or hospital privileges anywhere. I would like to know the quality of his or her education. I would like to be able to assess his or her medical recommendations through independent sources. These are the types of information that I think are useful.

I also agree that information regarding the cost of medical procedures or interventions can be very helpful to patients making decisions regarding their healthcare.

I just don't think that all information is equally helpful especially when there are potential downsides associated with its availablity that exceeds its utility.

3 Comments:

Blogger Henry Stern, LUTCF said...

Well, I'm pleased that you agree with me (us) ;-))

I'm unclear, tho, what you mean when you say

I just don't think that all information is equally helpful especially when there are potential downsides associated with its availablity that exceeds its utility.I agree that there are usually downsides to a given procedure, but wouldn't those be noted when one is doing the research?

March 04, 2005 8:33 PM  
Blogger chargemaster said...

I think what Medicine Man is stating is that the information that could be posted or presented on this public register is too general and would be too hard to manage. Who would manage it? Who would gather all of the information? Is it voluntary? Is knowing a physician's address beneficial in any way?

I do agree with you that this kind of information could cause a lot of distrust for the physician and the pharmaceutical companies. But I do feel a system of checks and balances could also help both sides retain a more positive view from the public. Currently I don't know of any readily available to the public.

This is especially true with all of the headlines lately about people going to Canada to get their drugs because they are too expensive here. Here in Minnesota, our AG is bringing up charges or allegations of physicians and/or hospitals working too closely with pharmaceutical companies weekly. But like I said above, there are no readily available sites to find information to the contrary. It's the AG's word versus the physicians' and hospitals who already have a bad rep because of renewed scrutiny on pricing and insurance costs.

March 09, 2005 10:18 AM  
Blogger chargemaster said...

Sorry about the multiple responses. I've been having issues posting with Blogger.

CDM

March 09, 2005 10:19 AM  

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