The Big Pharma-Dollars-for-Doctors Database, at ProPublica

Haven’t had much time to blog, or eat, or sleep in the past few months because of this project, but the first part just rolled out today (at about 2am, actually): at ProPublica, my colleagues and I collected the past two years of reports (albeit just from 7 companies) disclosing what they pay doctors to speak on their behalf. I still have a few posts and articles to write about what undertaking and background, but it’s the first time that someone has compiled all these reports and made them available to the public, something that will be mandated by law in 2013.

Our first investigation related to the data looked at how some of the companies’ top earners, who are ostensibly supposed to be experts in their field, had either shady or slim expertise. I did most of the datawork, including collecting the data and managing it, polling the various state websites to look up physician disciplinary records, and designing and coding (with the help of my genius coder co-worker Jeff Larson) the website. Whew!

Check it out.

I'm a programmer, data journalist, and photographer in New York City. I'm the author of three in-progress books: The Bastards Books of Ruby, Photography, and Regular Expressions.