Advocates for patient safety have had to confront the reality that steps taken to improve the quality of health care can also present opportunities for corruption and conflict of interest. Pascal Fossier/Ikon Images/Corbis hide caption

toggle caption Pascal Fossier/Ikon Images/Corbis

Joe Kiani, addresses the second-annual Patient Safety, Science & Technology Summit in January 2014. Courtesy of the Patient Safety Movement Foundation hide caption

toggle caption Courtesy of the Patient Safety Movement Foundation

A federal database, though imperfect, will make it easier for patients to find out about the ties between doctors and industry. John Bolesky/Corbis hide caption

toggle caption John Bolesky/Corbis

A check of Medicare's new database of payments to physicians confirms that at least $6 million in 2012 went to doctors who had been indicted or otherwise sanctioned. iStockphoto hide caption

toggle caption iStockphoto

Now that Eli Lilly & Co.'s antidepressant Cymbalta and some other blockbusters have gone generic, the company is spending less on promotional activities by doctors. Darron Cummings/AP hide caption

toggle caption Darron Cummings/AP