Many doctors accept payments from drug makers for everything from speaking engagements to travel. Now, the federal government is on pace to make such transactions known to the public.

Under a new proposal, pharmaceutical companies who produce any product covered by Medicare or Medicaid would be required to document all payments made to doctors. The information would then be publicly posted on a government website.

Consumer advocates say the disclosure may encourage doctors to make better decisions regarding patient care. Previous analyses by media and other organizations have indicated that doctors who accept money from drug makers are more likely to prescribe medications for unapproved uses.

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If approved, the changes could have big implications for those with developmental disabilities. Antipsychotic medications that are frequently prescribed off-label to children with various disabilities are one area where payments to doctors have come into question.

Some in the pharmaceutical industry, however, argue that increased disclosure could lead to fewer doctors being willing to work with drug makers, which could stifle progress in the field, reports The New York Times. To read more click here.