Here's yet another take on pharma gifts to doctors, from The Washington Post this time: These Gifts are Bad for Our Health.
Update: The Dead Armadillos blogger (fun name, I know) adds to the author's list of proposed legislative solutions:
- 1) Set up a data model that uniquely identifies each medical provider by their DEA number
2) Pharm companies are required to electronically submit an XML formatted report of all their gifts to medical providers on a periodic basis
3) The state health department publishes a website that incorporates all the data submitted by the Pharm companies and allows John Q. Public to easily look up how many thousands of dollars his doctors are accepting in bribes (and for which drugs)
Using XML formatting and open source web application tools, a system like this could be easily and inexpensively set up and then made available to other state health departments. Once installed, it would not be a significant administrative burden for the health department -- the data would be updated automatically because of the XML formatting.