Manufacturers prepare to file Sunshine Act doc-pay disclosures
Pharmaceutical companies and medical devicemakers that pay physicians to study and promote their products are putting the final touches on their mandatory disclosures of those payments to the federal government.
The section of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act known as the Physician Payments Sunshine Act requires that any transfer of value of more than $10 from a product maker to a doctor be reported to a database that will be published online by the CMS in September. The companies making the disclosures were required to register by the end of March. They will begin submitting the detailed data in May.
The law was intended to disclose potential conflicts of interest that occur when the doctors prescribe drugs and products whose manufacturers pay them, either directly or indirectly. About 80% or more of U.S. doctors accept such payments. Companies are likely to report payments for clinical research, consulting, speaking engagements and education sessions that typically are paired with free meals.
Officials at the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America have said a significant number of the disclosures will consist of reprints of medical journal articles and textbook chapters describing new research that are regularly given to doctors. Although the articles are typically offered for free, the CMS has said they carry a monetary value that must be disclosed.