Drugmakers paid millions to Mass. health providers

Massachusetts just released more fodder for the doctor-payment data crunchers. As the Boston Globe reports, the state posted online the country's most comprehensive state database of healthcare payments from pharma and device makers. The data encompasses payments to doctors, like other reports we've seen, but also includes hospitals, nurses, pharmacists and other healthcare providers.

Of the $35.7 million in payments made from July 1 through December 31, 2009, some $16.4 million went to doctors, the database shows. The numbers were collected because of a 2008 law that required drug and device makers to report payments of $50 or more (and also banned gifts and limited free meals).

Drugmakers who made the top 10, payment-wise, are Eli Lilly ($LLY), with $1.7 million distributed to 259 recipients; Genzyme ($GENZ), with $1.4 million and 71 recipients; Pfizer ($PFE), with $1.34 million and 525 recipients; Forest Laboratories ($FRX) with $1.27 million and 265 recipients; The Medicines Company ($MDCO), with $1.23 million and 17 recipients; GlaxoSmithKline ($GSK) with $1.07 million and 215 recipients; Sanofi-Aventis ($SNY) with $1.04 million and 372 recipients; and Allergan ($AGN), with $966,616 and 80 recipients. There's quite a range of average payments, from $72,592 on the high side from Medicines Co. to $2,548 on the low side, from Pfizer.

- read the Globe story
- see the charts from Mass High Tech