News | September 09, 2007

Legislation Critical Step in Ending Conflicts of Interest in Medicine

September 10, 2007 — The Prescription Project, a national campaign to end the influence of pharmaceutical marketing on physician prescribing decisions, applauded U.S. Senators Charles Grassley (R-IA) and Herb Kohl (D-WI) for their proposed legislation to require manufacturers of pharmaceutical drugs, devices and biologics to disclose the amount of money they give to doctors through payments, gifts, honoraria, travel and other means.

The Physician Payments Sunshine Act would apply to manufacturers with $100 million or more in annual gross revenues. The proposed legislation builds on existing disclosure laws in Minnesota, Vermont, Maine and West Virginia and would require that the Secretary of Health and Human Services create a national database that is available online with payment information listed in a clear and understandable manner.

Yesterday, Boston Medical Center and Boston University School of Medicine announced new stringent guidelines to prevent conflicts of interest between doctors and pharmaceutical companies.

Claire McCaskill (D-MO), Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Ted Kennedy (D-MA) are original co-sponsors of the Grassley-Kohl bill introduced yesterday. Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-OR) has also introduced a similar proposal in the House of Representatives.

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