WASHINGTON—The Pew Charitable Trusts today praised Senators Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) for introducing legislation to provide transparency on gifts and payments to nurse practitioners and physician assistants from drug and device manufacturers. The Provider Payment Sunshine Act (S. 308) would add these health care professionals to the existing federal Open Payments program, which requires physicians and teaching hospitals to publicly disclose financial relationships with pharmaceutical and medical device industries. Allan Coukell, Pew’s senior director of health programs, issued this statement:
“Since the Open Payments database debuted in 2014, it has shed light on the nearly $6.5 billion in annual payments that drug and device manufacturers make to physicians and teaching hospitals. Studies have shown that such payments can have an effect on doctors’ prescribing habits—for example, whether they prescribe a name-brand drug or its generic alternative. Nurse practitioners and physician assistants write about 15 percent of all prescriptions in the United States, so expanding the Open Payments program to include them would provide similar transparency and help increase trust in our health care system.”
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