* (An earlier version incorrectly said payments go toward promoting drugs. The data include research that doesn't involve promotions.)
Each week, the Missourian highlights a government record that is available to the public. Open records help people keep government in check and help them better understand how government affects their lives.
For a complete list of Show Me the Records, go to columbiamissourian.com/records.
The records: ProPublica, a nonprofit investigative journalism organization, tracks, by state, the payments that 12 drug companies give to doctors and other health professionals*. ProPublica points out that though accepting payments isn’t necessarily wrong, it can raise ethical issues.
Why you'd want them: You can find out if your doctor or any medical institutions in your area are receiving payments and how much they're receiving from drug companies for consulting, speaking, marketing or a range of other reasons.
Where you get the records: Go to projects.propublica.org/docdollars/states/26 to view payments drug companies made in Missouri.
How much will it cost: The information is free.