Drug and device companies paid Massachusetts physicians more than $16 million in the second half of 2009, the Bay State’s newly-unveiled disclosure database shows (for those of you ready to bookmark: http://mass.gov/dph/pharmamed/). Health Care for All’s got first impressions over at A Healthy Blog:

“While other states have come out with data,” they write, “Massachusetts’ is the first database that is fully searchable by provider name, company name, or payment category, and is the nation’s most comprehensive.”

Massachusetts joins Vermont and Minnesota among states that publish pharma payments made to doctors, and as researchers, journalists and consumers begin to comb the data, more pieces of the picture about industry marketing payments to health care providers will fall into place. The data and, importantly, the database itself–its organization, user-friendliness, design and maintenance–offers one working draft for the designers of the federal Physician Payments Sunshine database to copy, improve on, or tweak as they build the federal version, and we’ll be looking at the database with an eye toward its blueprint-ness in the coming weeks and months.

On your mark, get set, download…

–Kate Petersen, PostScript blogger