03/26/2010 - Disclosure of financial ties between doctors and drug companies — a topic we’ve written about often — will finally be universally mandated in the physician payment provisions passed as part of the health-care bill. If you need a reminder about the Physician Payments Sunshine Act or past conflicts, read here, here and here.
We talked to Allan Coukell, director of the Pew Prescription Project, which has been a proponent of the act, about what this new legislation means. The first public report will be released in 2013 regarding payments for the prior year. Here’s an excerpt from our conversation:
Q: What is the significance of the act? Why was it needed?
A: There has been tremendous concern over the extent of the financial links between doctors and drug companies, and the potential of those ties to influence care that patients need. Until now, there was no way for the patients or the public of knowing how extensive those relationships are. This, for the first time, will make those relationships transparent.
Read the full conversation with Allan Coukell Let the Sun Shine In: Payments to Docs from Companies to be Disclosed on the Wall Street Journal's Web site.