This Month's News
Let the sun shine: Transparency in pharma payments to physicians
A proposed rule to implement the Physician Payment Sunshine Act was released by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) in December. The rule would require drug and device manufacturers covered by Medicare, Medicaid, or the Children's Health Insurance Program to report payments or other transfers of value they make to physicians and teaching hospitals. In reference to industry-funded continuing medical education (CME), the rule includes any third-party donations, as long as the funding company is aware of the identity of the physician.
The intent of this effort, which covers any amount over $10 or any sum of payments totaling $100 or more, is to decrease the potential for conflict of interest for physicians and teaching hospitals resulting from relationships with particular device or drug manufacturers. Penalties for failing to report will capped at $150,000 annually, and as much as $1,000,000 for knowingly failing to report.
Manufacturers will be required to submit a partial year's report on March 31, 2013. CMS will then confidentially review the submissions, make any necessary corrections and make the data public by Sept. 30, 2013.
Comments on the proposed rule, which is not yet in effect, are being accepted until Feb. 17.
For more detailed information on the Sunshine Act, see the Pew Prescription Project.