Doctors Crying Over “Sunshine”? The Sociopathic Business Model™Edition
July 29, 2014
As previously discussed the Sunshine Act reports physician’s financial interactions with manufacturers of drugs and medical devices to the CMS. That information is about to be released to the public but some doctors are not happy about the transparency.
According to WSJ Pharmalot:
A group of medical societies and pharmaceutical industry trade groups is pushing the government to flesh out data that will be published next month showing how much drug makers pay doctors.
They sent a letter today to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to ask the agency to explain what context will be provided to help the public understand the justification for payments, such as speaking fees and grants used to bankroll clinical research.
The letter is signed by more than 20 medical societies and organizations including the American Urological Association, as well as heavyweight industry trade groups Biotechnology Industry Organization and the Pharmaceutical Research & Manufacturers of America.
The law requires most drug and device makers to report to CMS detailed information about payments and gifts provided to U.S. doctors and teaching hospitals. The disclosures are being made in stages, but September marks the debut when payments will appear publicly.
The letter mentions the concerns over:
Providing necessary context
-Who decides what’s necessary? It should state who they worked with and how much they made-if they want to justify leave space
Asking for increased outreach and education for physicians
-stating that webinars have been available but not in a timely fashion (sounds like looking for excuses to justifiy possible unethical behavior-people can watch a webinar whenever they want).
Simplify physician registration
–I don’t disagree but I think the ACA site should work out their kinks first. Plan.
And alarmingly last week it was widely reported and largely ignored that San Francisco gynecologist named Dr. Andrew Brill received nearly $213,000 in consulting fees last year from the Johnson & Johnson’s Ethicon’s Gynecare unit (and yes that’s on top of his own salary of $350,000 (based off of national average)). Apparently this information was not only missing from Dr. Brill’s Sunshine Act report the FDA missed it altogether when they asked him to sit on a panel to review (oh wait for it) yep, you guessed it, a possible cancer causing product up for recall made by Johnson & Johnson’s Ethicon’s Gynecare.
Had the Wall St. Journal (WSJ Pharmalot) not inquired into the relationship it’s highly suspect that the evening before the big meeting regarding Johnson & Johnson’s Ethicon’s Gynecare’s products Dr. Andrew Brill would have had a sudden recollection of an extra $213,000 from the company he was reviewing which might be a conflict of interest and recused himself.
THIS is why the Sunshine Act is necessary.