by Brian Wolfman
The federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has issued this final rule that will require manufacturers of drugs, biologics, medical devices, and certain other medical products to report annually to the Secretary of HHS about the payments the manufacturers make to doctors and hospitals. The Secretary is then required to make the information available on a public website. The manufacturers must collect the data by August of this year and submit it to CMS by April 2014. The government website should be up and running by September 2014. A variety of perks must be reported, including speaking fees, consulting payments, research, gifts, food, entertainment, honoraria, research grants, royalties, and license fees.
In the meantime, ProPublica has been making some of this information public on its website, Dollars for Docs, with this explanation:
Drug companies have long kept secret details of the payments they make to doctors and other health professionals for promoting their drugs. But 12 companies have begun publicizing the information, some because of legal settlements. ProPublica pulled their disclosures into a database so patients can search for their doctor. Accepting payments isn’t necessarily wrong, but it can raise ethical issues.
The Affordable Care Act mandated the new CMS rule.