The PDRP is described in an editorial in the AMA publication American Medical News as, a painless way for physicians to push back. The AMA said it has never compiled or sold physician prescribing data. Mr. Musacchio explains that HIOs routinely obtain prescribing data from pharmacies, claims processors, and pharmacy benefit managers and append the data to a variety of physician databases including the AMA’s Masterfile. This compiled data is then packaged and licensed to the pharmaceutical industry. According to AMA, prescribing data used by HIOs are subject to HIPAA privacy requirements and do not contain patient identifiable information.
AMA said it supports this data profiling because it can be used to detect drug diversion, target promotional and marketing materials, and distribute pertinent drug samples and educational materials to physicians. Absent specific prescribing data, pharmaceutical companies would likely market products and deliver drug samples by geographic location and practice specialty, resulting in irrelevant sales calls and product samples, said information on the Prescribing Data Information Center listed on the AMA Web site. This center includes information on what the AMA considers responsible use of prescribing data by HIOs and drug companies. The AMA has also developed guidelines for industry on the use of physician data.
In addition to allowing individual physicians the opportunity to opt out of pharmacy data sharing, the new AMA program also gives physicians the opportunity to register complaints against a company or individual who has used the information inappropriately. The AMA will take appropriate action on behalf of the physician based on specifics of the complaint, said the association.