ProPublica has been tracking drug company payments to doctors since 2010 through a project known as Dollars for Docs . Our first lookup tool included only seven companies, most of which were required to report their payments publicly as a condition of legal settlements. The tool now covers every drug and device company, thanks to the Physician Payment Sunshine Act , a part of the 2010 Affordable Care Act. The law required all drug and device companies to publicly report their payments. The first reports became public in 2014, covering the last five months of 2013; 2014 payments were released last year.
WEBER: You know, the federal government has gone after many pharmaceutical companies because it's against the law for them to market their drugs for off-label uses because the FDA itself has not approved the safety of it, and this is not just for kids under five. You know, some of these suits involved, you know, approaching child psychologists for anti, you know, anti-psychotic drugs that were, you know, not remotely approved for use in those and who have very serious side effects. And, you know, the FDA is trying to ensure that if a drug is prescribed, the drug companies themselves are not marketing it for use that has not been tested.
8. It can keep you healthy during flu season.
Women who take an oral contraceptive with estrogen may have more protection from the flu virus than others, according to a new study published in the American Journal of Physiology – Lung Cellular and Molecular Physiology . Researchers found that estrogen levels in Pill takers reduced the amount of flu virus that replicated in infected cells nearly 1,000-fold, compared with the cells that weren't exposed to estrogen. The increased estrogen levels didn't have the same effect on male participants, as their normal estrogen levels are already much lower than those of women. And because hormone levels in pre-menopausal women not on the Pill fluctuate throughout the month, simply being female isn't enough to offer flu protection. (Here are 9 power foods that boost immunity .) But it's not recommended that women begin taking oral contraceptives to protect themselves against the flu. "If women are taking estrogen-like hormones for other reasons, an added benefit might be less susceptibility to influenza during flu season," said Sabra Klein, PhD, study author, in a press release.