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US to require public disclosure of drug and device industry’s financial ties to doctors

BMJ 2012; 344 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.e515 (Published 19 January 2012) Cite this as: BMJ 2012;344:e515
  1. Keith Epstein
  1. 1Washington, DC

Later this year, the US government will probably require drug and medical device companies to start disclosing almost all financial relationships with doctors, including payments for research, consulting, speaking engagements, and even meals, under procedures published on 17 January.

Doctors who develop or assess a drug, receive royalty payments—or receive little more than breakfast or lunch during a visit from a device manufacturer’s representative—will have to file reports, subject to government auditing and inspections, that will be posted on a publicly searchable website in 2013.

Obama administration officials, health policy specialists, and some members of Congress, which in 2010 passed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act requiring such disclosure, say it will bring transparency and accountability to commonplace conflicts of interest.

Many studies (www.medpac.gov/chapters/Mar09_Ch05.pdf) have shown how the influence of manufacturers and their representatives can …

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