Otolaryngologists agree with their fellow physicians who prescribe drugs-pharmaceutical companies have no business buying or using information on how and when they prescribe particular drugs, nor do they want to be confronted by pharmaceutical company representatives in their office about why they do or don’t prescribe that company’s products.
Explore this issue:August 2006
I feel that it is an invasion of privacy to allow pharmaceutical companies to use doctor’s prescribing information, said Stephen Wetmore, MD, MBA, Professor and Chair of Otolaryngology at West Virginia University School of Medicine in Morgantown. This information should not be sold or made available to pharmacy benefit management companies, he added.
So many physicians agree with Dr. Wetmore that the American Medical Association (AMA) has announced the launch of a new Web-based Prescription Data Restriction Program (PDRP) that will allow physicians to opt out of having their prescribing data history sold or shared with drug companies or their partner companies. If a physician chooses to opt out he or she will have his or her name specifically marked on the AMA’s Masterfile, a database that includes specific physician data. Health Information Organizations (HIOs) and pharmaceutical companies that now use the extensive database will still be able to view the individual doctor’s information but will not be permitted to use it for marketing purposes if that physician has registered with the opt-out program.