NEWS16 December 2011

Sunshine rules for doctors keep survey exemption

Government North America

US— Rules requiring doctors to disclose payments made by drug companies have been published – maintaining an exemption for survey-related incentives.

Lobbying by US industry bodies helped win an exclusion so that doctors would not have to report payments they received for taking part in market research surveys, providing that the drug company or device manufacturer commissioning the research was unaware of the respondents identity.

The Physician Payments Sunshine Act, signed into law last year, is intended to alleviate concerns over undue influence in the healthcare profession.

The Centres for Medicare and Medicaid Services released their proposed regulations for implementing the act this week. A comment period is open until 12 February.

Howard Fienberg, government affairs director for the Marketing Research Association, said: “We are pleased to report that the proposed rules retain the wording and intent of the Sunshine Act as written by Congress.”