NEWS22 February 2010

IMS looks to capitalise on physician payment disclosure laws

Government North America

US— The proliferation of laws in the US requiring disclosure of money spent by drugs companies on marketing to doctors is causing headaches for many in the research industry

IMS has launched a new set of services in the area of “aggregate spend compliance” allowing pharmaceuticals and medical device manufacturers to track, monitor and report their promotional outlays.

To date 20 states have introduced legislation requiring the disclosure of corporate gifts given to doctors. Federal legislation is also being considered, while in Vermont gifts have been banned altogether.

Problems occur for researchers when the definition of ‘marketing’ in these laws is broad enough to encompass payments for survey incentives, making it difficult if not impossible to recruit doctors and other healthcare professionals to take part in studies.

Research industry bodies including the Marketing Research Association and the Council of American Survey Research Organisations have had some success in securing clarifications to laws in Massachusetts and Minnesota so as to exempt survey incentives.

  • IMS also announced today that its $5bn takeover by investment houses TPG Capital and the CCP Investment Board is now expected to close before the end of February.