Continuing Physician Professional Development
Study: "Sunshine" laws don't affect prescribing patterns
"Sunshine" laws that require pharmaceutical firms to report payments to physicians have had little impact on physician prescribing patterns, according to a recent study in two states with such laws.
The authors of the study, published in the May 28 Archives of Internal Medicine, hypothesized that physicians in Maine and West Virginia, both of which have had sunshine laws since 2004, would be less likely to prescribe branded medications in favor of generic drugs.
As reported in American Medical News, this news comes as the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services considers how best to implement the Physician Payments Sunshine Act, passed in 2010 as part of the national health care reform legislation. One expert quoted in the American Medical News article said that the laws in the two states are much weaker than the proposed federal legislation and should not be seen as a harbinger of its potential impact.
AMA supports new legislation on physician re-entry
The AMA has expressed support for proposed legislation that would ease barriers to physician re-entry to clinical practice and help address the nation's shortage of primary care physicians.
The Physician Reentry Demonstration Program Act (H.R. 5888), introduced by U.S. Rep. John Sarbanes (D-Md.) would provide training and financial assistance to physicians returning to medical practice in exchange for their service at a community health center.
The bill would provide grant funding to medical schools, teaching hospitals and other non-profit medical training organizations to establish or expand physician re-entry programs. Grantees would train re-entering physicians; provide a streamlined process for credentialing and continuing medical education; and provide funding assistance with credentialing fees, loan repayment and salaries. In return, physicians would provide at least two years of service at a community health center, Veterans Affairs medical center or school-based health center.
This legislation dovetails with AMA's continuing work to develop a coordinated national approach to re-entry. For example, the AMA held a conference on this topic in May 2010, in collaboration with the Federation of State Medical Boards and the American Academy of Pediatrics. Learn more about the AMA's role in physician re-entry.
Register now for National Task Force on CME Provider/Industry Collaboration
Registration is now open for the 23rd Annual Conference of the National Task Force on CME Provider/Industry Collaboration. The theme of the Oct. 11-12 conference in Baltimore is "Forces Shaping the Future of CME Collaboration: Solutions for Harnessing the Positive and Mitigating the Negative."
Participants will focus on four significant forces that are shaping the future of CME provider and industry collaboration: cost constraints, quality improvement, risk evaluation and mitigation strategy, and maintenance of certification.
The keynote presentation will be delivered by J. David Haddox, DDS, MD, vice president of health policy at Purdue Pharma L.P. The annual Shickman Lecture will be given by Carolyn Clancy, MD, director of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.