Issue Date: February 2, 2009
Disclosing ties among drugmakers, doctors
In a continued effort to disclose financial relationships between drugmakers and doctors, Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Herb Kohl (D-Wis.) have introduced legislation that would require pharmaceutical, medical device, and biologics manufacturers to report all money over $100 they give to physicians. The Physician Payments Sunshine Act of 2009 would establish a national standard under which drug and device manufacturers supply information to the Department of Health & Human Services about payments they make to doctors. Record of the payments also would have to be posted on the Internet in a publicly accessible way. The bill would establish a penalty of up to $1 million for companies that do not disclose such information. Grassley's ongoing investigation has revealed large amounts of undisclosed money going to prominent research doctors. He recently pressured NIH to require disclosure of financial relationships between drug manufacturers and doctors who conduct federally funded medical research.
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