Transparency?

How much transparency should there be in health care?  In commerce in general?

Senator Grassley wants transparency in medicine – he has introduced legislation that is designed to require drug companies to disclose what they pay doctors.  Read about the legislation in this article from the New York Times.  The article says that Grassley "cited as an example the case of a prominent child psychiatrist, who he said made $180,000 over just two years from the maker of an antipsychotic drug now widely prescribed for children."

This is interesting, too:  "Mr. Grassley said that he had asked how much the child psychiatrist, Dr. Melissa DelBello at the University of Cincinnati, made from AstraZeneca, the London-based drug giant that manufactures the antipsychotic Seroquel.  Dr. DelBello’s studies of Seroquel in children have helped to fuel the widespread pediatric use of antipsychotic medicines. Those studies were inconclusive, but she has described them as demonstrating that Seroquel is effective in some children.  Asked in a past newspaper interview how much she was paid by AstraZeneca to help market Seroquel, she had said, “Trust me, I don’t make very much.” Mr. Grassley said this week that her disclosure forms at the University of Cincinnati show she received $100,000 from AstraZeneca in 2003 and $80,000 in 2004. Dr. DelBello consults for seven other drug makers as well. She did not respond to requests for comment this week. "

It is good to know that $100,000 from one of eight drug maker is not "very much" for this doctor.  Those of us who are mere lawyers think that is real money.  

A graph in this month’s edition of the  ABA Journal informed us that the median pay for lawyers in this country is $90,000.  And we have to buy our own lunches.