''Drug money- Is your doc receiving payments from the pharmaceutical industry?''
"A dozen UC Davis Medical Center doctors and many more in the greater Sacramento area received some $1.1 million from pharmaceutical companies in 2009 and the first half of 2010. Physicians and employers say the relationship is a necessity to marry scientific expertise to corporate innovation. But watchdogs, and even the federal government, are taking a close look at the uncertain relationship between medicine and business.
Allan Coukell, a pharmacist and director of for Pew Prescription Project, added that gifts from medical companies—a tradition of freebies that includes pens, pill samples and even personalized stethoscopes—are also frowned upon.
Pew’s Coukell advises individuals to stay informed. 'Try to have a conversation with your physician and understand where the information is coming from,' he said. 'Those that get paid by a company can become a part of the marketing for that company.'"
On Thursday, May 23, the House Energy & Commerce Subcommittee on Health held a hearing, entitled "Examining Drug Compounding." Gabrielle Cosel, a drug safety expert, testified on the need to clarify oversight of compounding pharmacies on the state and federal level.
Public health and consumer advocacy groups are attacking Senate legislation designed to tighten oversight of specialized pharmacies such as the one at the center of this past fall’s deadly meningitis outbreak, saying it does not adequately address health risks. More info
''A subsidiary of India's largest pharmaceutical company has agreed to pay a record $500 million in fines and penalties for selling adulterated drugs and lying to federal regulators in a case that is part of an ongoing crackdown on the quality of generic drugs flowing into the U.S." More info
"As differing bills for securing the pharmaceutical supply chain wind their way through the US House and Senate, a key hurdle to passing legislation may have just been cleared. Earlier this week, the National Community Pharmacists Association – which is a member of an influential industry coalition that has been floating its own proposals – is now willing to back either bill." More info
"U.S. senators considering fundamental changes to how the practice of pharmacy compounding is regulated heard almost unanimous support for reform at a Washington committee hearing Thursday." More info
"At least 67 people have died in 20 outbreaks caused by contaminated drugs since 2001, experts told a Senate hearing Thursday. The Food and Drug Administration says there have likely been more cases than that, but they have no way of telling now." More info
"State pharmacy officials on Thursday threw their support behind a proposal giving the Food and Drug Administration authority over large compounding pharmacies, in an effort to head off more outbreaks tied to contaminated medications." More info
When a doctor sticks a needle in you, you expect that the drugs it carries won’t be tainted. But, possibly owing to a strange gray area in federal law, thousands of patients last October got injections for back pain that contained highly dangerous fungal meningitis, and dozens of them died. Members of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee are now seeking to fix the government’s oversight of the obscure world of compounding pharmacies. The reforms they want are overdue. More info
The Pew Charitable Trusts commented on the draft proposal to secure drug distribution in the United States. Although recognizing that the draft is the product of a sustained effort to address a complex system and balance sometimes competing imperatives, Pew shared areas of significant concern. More info
The House Energy & Commerce Subcommittee on Health will hold a hearing on April 25 entitled "Securing Our Nation’s Prescription Drug Supply Chain." Allan Coukell, a pharmacist and drug safety expert, will testify on the need to establish a national system to track and authenticate medicine. The principles outlined in his prepared testimony are supported by other stakeholders in statements from consumer, patient, public health, and industry groups. More info
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
"The deaths and illnesses linked last fall to a New England pharmacy operating in the regulatory shadows as a cut-rate drug manufacturer is one of the biggest pharmaceutical public health disasters in American history." 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