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Nieman Journalism Lab
Pushing to the future of journalism — A project of the Nieman Foundation at Harvard

ProPublica will launch Prescriber Checkup on Saturday, a database that, as if guided by an occult hand, allows users to search which doctors are prescribing what drugs through Medicare. This comes on the heels of yesterday’s launch of the Nonprofit Explorer, a database that makes tax return information from nearly 616,000 nonprofit organizations searchable.

In 2010 alone, doctors wrote over one billion prescriptions to Medicare patients. Further exploration of the rapidly expanding Medicare drug system will dovetail nicely with ProPublica’s Dollars for Docs project, which tracks how much private doctors earn from pharmaceutical companies.

— Caroline O'Donovan
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Ben Smith says it will be a guide through the noise of news in social media, and that journalists should realize they’re “part of a collaborative project with other news outlets.”
  • Dennis Byron

    Really, on the average, doctors wrote 25 prescriptions for each Medicare patient? My wife and I have 7 between us so that means some other couple has 93 different meds. (I am guessing that you mean prescriptions filled — as in, my wife and I filled our 7 scripts each month for a total of 84.)

  • Jacob Wadsworth

    This is a good way to monitor the medications that has been prescribed but to what end is the monitoring about? –