Cephalon required to disclose physician payments

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By entering into a corporate integrity agreement (CIA) with the Department of Health and Human Services, Cephalon became the first drugmaker required by law to disclose payments to physicians, the Dow Jones Newswires reported.

The five-year CIA stipulates that Cephalon post all payments to physicians “in a prominent position on its website,” in an “easily accessible and readily searchable listing.” The payment disclosures are to be posted by January 31, 2010. 

The agreement comes after Cephalon announced plans to plead guilty for promoting three medications off-label: Actiq, a pain medication; Provigil, a sleep apnea drug; and Gabitril, for epilepsy. As a result, the company will pay $443.9 million to settle state and federal probes, according to Dow Jones Newswires report.

“This case is about making sure that pharmaceutical companies market their drugs within the rules established to protect us all,” said Laurie Magid, acting US Attorney for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, in the report.

In a Q&A on the matter found on Cephalon's website, the company said it had “worked diligently to develop an effective compliance program related to our promotional practices and product-related services. We believe that the enhanced compliance program now in place will more effectively ensure that we are in compliance with all applicable laws and regulations.”

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