PhRMA: Sunshine Not Driving Docs Indoors
Written by Editor   
Friday, April 11, 2014 11:00 AM

Doctors haven't disengaged from drug companies in the months since the tracking of financial relationships between them started, several pharmaceutical executives said.  The Physician Payments Sunshine Act required drug companies to track gifts and other payments to physicians starting August 1, making them public later this year, but those ties have pretty much stayed put.  Different leaders of the drug industry said at the annual meeting of the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA).  "We've seen virtually no change in the way we interact with physicians," Pfizer CEO Ian Read said at a press conference.

The PhRMA board chair said his company has seen the same thing, and the law has had "no impact on the way we deal with physicians."  Each man shook his head "no" when asked directly if doctors seemed more hesitant to interact with pharmaceutical companies now that the law was in place.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) will make public on Sept. 30 payments and other "transfers of value" drug companies report giving doctors. With a handful of exceptions, drug companies and group purchasing organizations must report payments or gifts in excess of $10 made to physicians on a yearly basis.

The Justice Department last year accused drug-making giant Novartis of kickbacks it paid to doctors by holding "educational events" on fishing trips and at Hooters restaurants that were little more than parties.