Friday, December 16, 2011

"Sunshine rule" conflict of interest disclosure required for doctors

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has proposed a 'sunshine rule' to publicize relationships between doctors and manufacturers that may affect the decisions that physicians make regarding patient care.

The full proposal can be found here.

The summary is " This proposed rule would require applicable manufacturers of drugs, devices, biologicals, or medical supplies covered by Medicare, Medicaid or the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) to report annually to the Secretary certain payments or transfers of value provided to physicians or teaching hospitals ("covered recipients"). In addition, applicable manufacturers and applicable group purchasing organizations (GPOs) are required to report annually certain physician ownership or investment interests. The Secretary is required to publish applicable manufacturers' and applicable GPOs' submitted payment and ownership information on a public website."

Public comments will be accepted by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services until 2/17/12. Data collection will begin after the rule is finalized.

Since it is widely recognized that financial conflicts of interest can affect not only clinical decisions, but also the way research is done, it is important that the public be aware of these conflicts.

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