Feds To Withhold Some Doctor Payment Data After Inconsistencies

The Centers For Medicare & Medicaid Services said Friday that, because of data inconsistencies, a third of the records in a database showing drug and device-maker contributions to doctors will be withheld next month when the website goes live.

ProPublica: Government Will Withhold One-Third Records From Physician Payment Database
Next month, when the federal government releases data about payments to physicians from pharmaceutical and medical device makers, one-third of the records will be withheld because of data inconsistencies, an official told ProPublica. The issue is the latest hurdle for the federal government as it seeks to launch the already-delayed Open Payments database mandated under the Physician Payment Sunshine Act, a provision of the 2010 Affordable Care Act. Making this information public is a crucial step in promoting greater transparency about conflicts of interest in medicine (Ornstein, 8/15).

The Hill: CMS Delays Release Of Some Doctor Records On Transparency Website
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services said Friday that a third of the records in a database showing physician ties with the drug and medical industry have errors and will not be made public in September. “CMS is returning about one-third of submitted records to the manufacturers and [group purchasing organizations] because of intermingled data, and will include these records in the next reporting cycle,” said agency spokesman Aaron Albright (Al-Faruque, 8/15).

Meanwhile, the Alabama Supreme Court holds that Pfizer is liable for harm caused by a generic version of its drug --

The Wall Street Journal: Pfizer Is Liable For Harm Caused By A Generic Version Of Its Drug: Court
Should brand-name drug makers be held liable if consumers are harmed by a medicine made by a generic rival? The Alabama Supreme Court believes the answer is yes. And the court has upheld its own controversial ruling that Pfizer can be sued by an Alabama man who claimed he was injured by a generic version of its Reglan heartburn medicine. Why? The brand-name drug maker purportedly failed to warn his physician about the risks. The decision is potentially significant, because this is one of the few cases in which a court has found that a brand-name drug maker can be sued, even though a consumer had taken only the generic version (Silverman, 8/15).

This is part of Kaiser Health News' Daily Report - a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. The full summary of the day's news can be found here and you can sign up for e-mail subscriptions to the Daily Report here. In addition, our staff of reporters and correspondents file original stories each day, which you can find on our home page.