WRDS Adds ProPublica’s Award-Winning Data on Physician Prescribing Habits and Medical Industry Payment

Philadelphia, PA (BusinessWire) —Wharton Research Data Services (WRDS), the award-winning data research platform and business intelligence tool for corporate, academic and government institutions worldwide, is pleased to announce the addition of two ProPublica datasets. Prescriber Checkup and Dollars for Docs data let researchers examine physician prescription histories through Medicare Part D and payments and gifts to physicians by pharmaceutical companies, helping researchers uncover financial incentives, irregularities and abuse in healthcare at both state and national levels. A part of the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, WRDS provides global corporations, universities and regulatory agencies the thought leadership, data access and insights needed to enable impactful research.

The ProPublica data add to WRDS growing body of healthcare-related datasets.


  • Access data on nearly $6.25 billion in payments to doctors and teaching hospitals from pharmaceutical and medical device companies based on federal Open Payments data through the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (required under the Physician Payments Sunshine Act, a part of the 2010 Affordable Care Act).
  • Combine Open Payments data with other provider-level data, through an exclusive NPI-Open Payments crosswalk, matching providers Open Payment IDs to their National Provider Identifier (NPI) number.
  • Coverage from August 2013 through December 2016.
  • Data includes “general payments” covering 15 categories including promotional speaking, consulting, meals, travel and royalties.
  • Access provider-level summary information, including specialty, contact information, and aggregated payment information (number of payments received, total monetary value of payments received, and number of companies from which payments were received).
  • Analyze payments using a cleaned, standardized file that makes it easy to understand which drug or device is associated with each payment.
  • Research payments are not included in the current version but may be included in future releases of the Dollars for Docs data.


  • Analyze individual providers’ prescribing habits for Medicare Part D, based on data from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
  • Access cleaned, ready-to-use data on each provider, including name, location and summary prescription tallies for all providers who wrote at least 50 prescriptions for at least one drug in a calendar year.
  • Coverage from 2011-2015.
  • Compare prescribed drugs by provider and see results against national averages, including respective fill rank and cost rank in each state.
  • Extract drug file by category, including antibiotics, Beers list drugs, and more.
  • View and analyze summary files of all drugs dispensed in Medicare Part D in the covered calendar year, based on the number of fills, including the respective fill rank and cost rank in each state.
  • Access rankings for drugs within each specialty and state.

“WRDS is very pleased to add ProPublica as a new data provider on WRDS.” said Robert Zarazowski, Managing Director of WRDS. “Data on practice and spending habits are a critically important – and growing – field of study.  Providing ProPublica’s Prescriber Check Up and Dollars for Docs through WRDS should increase the extent of impact-focused research done using these key databases.”

“ProPublica is excited to collaborate with WRDS,” said Celeste LeCompte, Vice President of Business Development at ProPublica. “Ensuring that our data is available to researchers across a variety of fields is extremely important. We are pleased to add our data to the WRDS platform and join the growing body of health-related financial data hosted by WRDS.”

Along with continually adding new data to the platform, WRDS is a leader in enabling impactful research. Through a first-of-its-kind partnership with SSRN, WRDS is elevating the visibility of universities and researchers working across an array of fields. The WRDS Research Paper Series is a searchable repository of all papers submitted to SSRN that cite WRDS in their work, which will increase researcher visibility, increase their Eigenfactor® score, and build a specialized research base that will advance shared knowledge. In addition, the three organizations have launched the WRDS-SSRN Innovation Award™ to honor emerging business schools. Learn more about how WRDS is driving impact here>>.


ProPublica is an independent, nonprofit newsroom that produces investigative journalism in the public interest. With a team of more than 50 dedicated reporters and editors, ProPublica covers a range of topics, focusing on stories with the potential to spur real-world impact. Its reporting has contributed to the passage of new laws; reversals of harmful policies and practices; and accountability for leaders at local, state and national levels. Since it began publishing in 2008, ProPublica has received four Pulitzer Prizes, three Peabody Awards, two Emmy Awards and five George Polk Awards, among others.


Wharton Research Data Services (WRDS) is the award-winning research platform and business intelligence tool for 50,000+ corporate, academic, government and nonprofit users at 400+ institutions in 30+ countries. WRDS provides the user with one location to access 250+ terabytes of data across multiple disciplines including Accounting, Banking, Economics, ESG, Finance, Healthcare, Insurance, Marketing, and Statistics. Flexible data delivery options include a powerful web query method that reduces research time, the WRDS Cloud for executing research and strategy development, and the WRDS client server using PCSAS, Matlab, Python and R. Our Analytics team, doctoral-level support and rigorous data review and validation give clients the confidence to tailor research within complex databases and create a wide range of reliable data models.

From partnerships with data vendors to our own tools, including the WRDS SEC Analytics Suite and Event Study by WRDS, Wharton Research Data Services is the global gold standard in data management and research, all backed by the credibility and leadership of the Wharton School.

About the Wharton School
Founded in 1881 as the first collegiate business school, the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania is recognized globally for intellectual leadership and ongoing innovation across every major discipline of business education. With a broad global community and one of the most published business school faculties, Wharton creates economic and social value around the world.  The Wharton School has 5,000 undergraduate, MBA, executive MBA, and doctoral students; more than 9,000 participants in executive education programs annually and a powerful alumni network of 96,000 graduates.