''Americans want to know about pharma freebies, poll finds''
"Americans want to know whether their doctors are pocketing payments or accepting gifts from drug companies, but they don't necessarily want to come right out and ask them, a new poll finds.
More than half of the people responding to a national survey by the Boston-based Prescription Project thought it was important to know about their doctors’ relationships with drug companies, but only about a third said they would ask their own physicians about it. The Prescription Project is a conflict-of-interest watchdog group funded by The Pew Charitable Trusts."
The Pew Charitable Trusts appreciates this opportunity to submit comments to CMS's "Information Collection Activities" draft guidance. We suggest that both the research and non-research payment templates be modified in order to make it easier for consumers to identify which drugs, devices, biologicals, or medical supplies are associated with particular transfers of value. More info
On Feb. 1, 2013, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services published the final rule guiding implementation of the Physician Payments Sunshine Act, which Congress passed as part of the Affordable Care Act in March 2010 to increase transparency in the relationships between physicians and drug and medical device makers. Here are some of the highlights. More info
"The Obama administration issued a new rule this month that requires the makers of prescription drugs and other medical products to disclose what they pay doctors for various purposes, like consulting or speaking on behalf of the manufacturer. This overdue rule adds much-needed weight to previous, more limited disclosure requirements." More info
Allan Coukell, director of medical programs for The Pew Charitable Trusts, issued the following statement in response to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services' final rule for implementing the Physician Payments Sunshine Act, which will bring transparency to the financial relationships between physicians and drug and medical device companies. More info
In 2011, the pharmaceutical industry spent nearly $29 billion on drug promotion — more than $25 billion on marketing directly to physicians and almost $4 billion on advertising directly to consumers (mainly through television commercials). This multi-pronged approach is designed to promote its products by influencing doctors’ prescribing practices.
"Harmonizing conflict-of-interest standards will depend on the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services moving forward to implement the federal Sunshine law, which is now more than a year behind schedule. Industry, consumers and academic stakeholders are all waiting on CMS to issue a final rule." More info
During a session at the American Psychiatric Association's annual meeting on conflicts of interest, experts delved into the link between psychiatry and the pharmaceutical industry. While several speakers at the session pointed out that other specialties are similarly entangled with industry, "everyone does it" is generally not a valid defense where conflicts of interest are concerned. More info
Dr. Daniel Carlat, Director of the Pew Prescription Project, appeared before the U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging to testify about the importance of implementing the Physician Payments Sunshine Act as quickly as possible. More info
Pew Prescription Project Director Daniel Carlat opines in the Philadelphia Inquirer: "Monetary relationships among doctors and drug and device companies are not inherently bad; in fact, they are crucial for advancing medical research and patient care. Yet they can also skew prescribing practices and research results. That's why transparency and education are such an elegant solution: They allow these often important relationships to exist, but only on the condition that other professionals and patients are fully informed about them." More info
"Every five years, lawmakers, lobbyists, patient groups and agency regulators line up to take their shot at changing how things get done at the Food and Drug Administration." More info
The Pew Charitable Trusts “Pew” and Medtronic, Inc. are pleased to jointly comment on the Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services proposed rule implementing Section 6002 of the Affordable Care Act. More info
Pew’s main goals in commenting on the proposed rule are to ensure timely implementation and to promote the interest of full transparency by ensuring that data is collected, reported, and published in the most complete, consistent and accurate manner possible. More info
Allan Coukell, Deputy Director, Medical Programs More info
"The Pew Health Group of The Pew Charitable Trusts welcomes the opportunity to submit comments regarding the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services' ("CMS") proposed rule for Medicare, Medicaid, Children's Health Insurance Programs; Transparency Reports and Reporting of Physician Ownership or Interests." More info
"It took longer than expected, but the Obama administration is finally poised to enact badly needed regulations requiring that the manufacturers of drugs, medical devices and medical supplies disclose all payments they make to doctors or teaching hospitals." More info