ProPublica reports that its previous analyses of how much drug companies have been secretly paying doctors was difficult to get right. Many drug companies have been having a surprising tendency to submit huge swaths of their data to the federal government’s Sunshine Act database with misspellings of the names of their own companies and drugs.
“Forest Laboratories misspelled its depression drug, Fetzima, as ‘Fetziima’ 953 times — in more than one-third of all the reports on the drug,” reports ProPublica. “Medical device company Amedica Corp. sometimes called its Preference screw system ‘Preferance.'” The misspellings meant that it was far more difficult to track how much had really been paid by whom, to whom, and for what.
Why Pharma Payments to Doctors Were So Hard to Parse (ProPublica, January 22, 2015)