Physician Payments Sunshine Act of 2007
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On September 6, 2007 Senator Chuck Grassley introduced the Physician Payments Sunshine Act of 2007 (S. 2029). In March 2008, Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Oregon) and Rep. Pete Stark (D-California) introduced a slightly different companion bill in the House of Representatives. (The House bill is referred to as H.R. 5605).
The bill would amend the Social Security Act "to provide for transparency in the relationship between physicians and manufacturers of drugs, devices, or medical supplies for which payment is made under Medicare, Medicaid, or SCHIP." The bill proposed that each quarter after January 1, 2008, companies or their agents that manufacture drugs, medical devices, or medical supplies would be required to disclose all payments of over than $25 in value made to "to a physician, or to an entity that a physician is employed by, has tenure with, or has an ownership interest in."
The bill would also require to provide details on the date, value and nature of the payment, such as whether it was for "food, entertainment, or gifts", "trips or travel", "a product or other item provided for less than market value", "participation in a medical conference, continuing medical education, or other educational or informational program or seminar, provision of materials related to such a conference or educational or informational program or seminar, or remuneration for promoting or participating in such a conference or educational or informational program or seminar", "product rebates or discounts", "consulting fees or honoraria" or "any other economic benefit."
The bill would also require each company to submit a summary report in electronic format. The proposed penalties for breaches were "not less than $10,000, but not more than $100,000, for each such failure."
- Paid to Prescribe?: Exploring the Relationship Between Doctors and the Drug Industry, United States Senate Special Committee on Aging, June 27, 2007. (Transcript of proceedings - text and pdf (7.4MB))
- Surgeons for Sale: Conflicts and Consultant Payments in the Medical Device Industry, United States Senate Special Committee on Aging, February 27, 2008.
When the bill was unveiled, Senators Grassley and Kohl extolled the virtues of disclosure. "Right now the public has no way to know whether a doctor’s been given money that might affect prescribing habits. This bill is about letting the sun shine in so that the public can know. Whether it's dinner at a restaurant or tens of thousands of dollars or more in fees and travel, patients shouldn’t be in the dark about whether their doctors are getting money from drug and device makers." The bill's co-author, Herb Kohl stated in the media release that "At our June hearing, the pharmaceutical industry told the Aging Committee that they believe their practices are above-board. If that is the case, full disclosure will only serve to prove them right. If that is not the case, full disclosure will bring their influence-peddling out from the shadows. Either way, patients win."
In May 2008 the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America stated that they supported a revised version of the bill but only on condition of "the continued inclusion of the provision that preempts state law". In a media statement, PhRMA President Billy Tauzin stated that "PhRMA believes that preempting local and state marketing reporting or disclosure laws that have been enacted or are pending avoids a confusing myriad of local, state and federal requirements that confuse patients accessing the information and are overly burdensome and costly for those required to report."
Articles and Resources
- ↑ U.S. Senators Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Herb Kohl, "Grassley, Kohl say public should know when pharmaceutical makers give money to doctors", Media Release, September 6, 2007.
- ↑ Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, "PhRMA Statement on the Senate Sunshine Act", Media Release, May 22, 2008.
Related SourceWatch Articles
Media Releases and Speeches by Legislators
- U.S. Senators Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Herb Kohl, "Grassley, Kohl say public should know when pharmaceutical makers give money to doctors", Media Release, September 6, 2007.
- Senator Grassley, "Statement on S . 2029", Thomas - Library of Congress, September 6, 2007.
- Senators Chuck Grassley and Herb Kohl, "JAMA Editorial Supports Disclosure of Payments to Physicians: Physician Payments Sunshine Act Would Require Financial Ties Be Made Public", Media Release, April 15, 2008.
- Senators Chuck Grassley and Herb Kohl, "Senators praise growing support for transparency in drug industry payments to physicians", Media Release, May 13, 2008.
- Senators Chuck Grassley and Herb Kohl, "Senators Welcome Endorsements from PhRMA, Advamed, AstraZeneca and Merck of Physician Payments Sunshine Act", Media Release, May 22, 2008.
Drug Industry Media Releases
- Lilly, "Lilly Backs Federal Legislation to Inform the Public on Payments to Physicians", Media Release, May 13, 2008.
- Merck, Letter to Senators Chuck Grassley and Herb Kohl, May 21, 2008.
- AstraZeneca, Letter to Senator Chuck Grassley, May 21, 2008.
- AvaMed, Letter to Senators Chuck Grassley and Herb Kohl, May 22, 2008.
- PhRMA, Letter to Senators Herb Kohl, May 21, 2008.
- Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, "PhRMA Statement on the Senate Sunshine Act", Media Release, May 22, 2008.
- Gardiner Harris, "Senators Seek Public Listing of Payments to Doctors", New York Times, September 7, 2007.
- Janet Moore, "Congress examines payments between doctors, medical device makers", Post-Bulletin, March 1, 2008.
- Dave Hansen, "Senate hearing questions doctors' ties to medical device makers: The industry has made improper payments to physicians in an attempt to influence their medical judgment, senators said", American Medical News, March 17, 2008.
- The Prescription Project, Fact Sheet: The Physician Payments Sunshine Act", March 13, 2008. (Pdf)
- Paul H. Rubin, "A Free Lunch", Forbes, February 25, 2008.
- Cathy Dombrowski, 'Grassley, Kohl Retool Physician Gift Reporting Bill To Defuse Opposition", The Pink Sheet, May 19, 2008.
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