Did You Know?
- Since the mid-1990s, pharmaceutical companies have been able to observe and track what doctors prescribe
- Pharmacies compile databases that show how many and which medications individual physicians prescribe; these databases are sold to Healthcare Information Organizations (HIOs)
- HIOs combine this information with data from the Physician Masterfile, purchased from the American Medical Association (AMA)
- Physician Masterfile contains information on virtually every physician in the United States including the two-thirds of physicians who are not AMA members
- Leading HIO, IMS Health, had revenues of $1.75 billion in 2005 (Steinbrook 2006)
- The AMA received $44.5 million in 2005 from sales of data from the Masterfile (Steinbrook 2006)
- Nearly three-quarters of physicians disapprove of this practice (Kaiser Family Foundation 2001)