Monday, January 16, 2012
Robert Pear reports in the New York Times about the recently proposed rules that will require drug and device manufacturers to disclose payments and gifts to physicians. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services released the proposed regulations in December, and comment is due by February 17.
Disclosure often is an important first step in discouraging inappropriate payments from industry, but it is rarely an adequate step. Indeed, some physicians respond to disclosure requirements with a greater willingness to accept gifts from drug and device companies. The government needs to follow up with additional steps, including prohibitions on certain kinds of payments.
And the government can look to professional guidelines that have been in effect for more than twenty years in formulationg stricter regulations. For the AMA guidelines that were subsequently adopted by PhRMA, see the original guidelines and an update that were published in the Food and Drug Law Journal.