FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: FEBRUARY 6, 2013
Long Overdue Physician Payments
Sunshine Act Released
Sterling, VA—The American Medical Student Association (AMSA) welcomes the release of the Physician Payments Sunshine Act final regulations by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) last Friday. These regulations, a provision of the Affordable Care Act, are over one year overdue.
The Physician Payments Sunshine Act requires pharmaceutical, device, biologicals and medical supply companies to report specific items, including gifts and meals as well as payments made to doctors and teaching hospitals to the Department of Health and Human Services. Since the introduction of this legislation, AMSA has advocated for its passage and timely implementation. In January, AMSA, with the National Physicians Alliance and Community Catalyst, sent letters asking CMS not to further delay release of the overdue final regulations.
A recent study in the Journal of the American Medical Association showed that doctors who receive free lunches from industry are more likely to be persuaded to prescribe more expensive, brand-name medications than prescribers who do not. Such results highlight the importance of disclosure of financial relationships between industry and physicians to the public in order to ensure that medicine that is evidence-based, rather than being marketing based is being practiced.
“After a long 15 month delay, we finally know that the data will be made available in September 2014,” says Reshma Ramachandran, AMSA’s PharmFree Fellow. “Collecting and reporting of this data essentially mandates universal disclosure of financial relationships between industry and physicians. Now, both patients and physicians will not only be able to clearly see what gifts and payments are being made from industry to the profession, but also be able to better understand the consequences of such relationships on clinical care.”
In the coming weeks, AMSA will carefully review the final regulations. Since 2002, AMSA has called for a comprehensive ban on gifts and meals to physicians as part of its PharmFree Campaign and educated and trained thousands of medical students to interact ethically and professionally with industry.
About the American Medical Student Association
AMSA is the oldest and largest independent association of physicians-in-training in the United States. Founded in 1950, AMSA is a student-governed, non-profit organization committed to representing the concerns of physicians-in-training. To learn more about AMSA, our strategic priorities, or joining the organization, please visit us online at www.amsa.org.