MedPAC calls for reporting of samples to aid detailing

Share this article:
An influential advisory board urged Congress to impose far-reaching transparency rules on payments to healthcare professionals and organizations interacting with the drug industry—including reporting samples, in part to aid counterdetailing efforts.

The Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) delivered a much-anticipated report on Medicare payment policy Friday, essentially calling for a significantly expanded version of the Physician Payments Sunshine Act currently pending in Congress. The group recommended that manufacturers of drugs, devices and biologics be required to report payments and transfers of value worth more than $100 per year including: gifts; food; travel; honoraria; research; funding for education and conferences; consulting fees; investment interests, royalties and samples.

“In 2005, pharmaceutical manufacturers provided free samples with a retail value of more than $18 billion to physicians and other providers,” the report's executive summary said. “While free samples may benefit the patient, there are concerns they may influence physicians' prescribing decisions and lead physicians and patients to rely on more expensive drugs when less expensive medications might be equally effective. More information about the distribution of samples would enable researchers to study their impact on prescribing patterns and overall drug costs and could help payers and health plans target their counterdetailing programs.”

MedPAC called for company reporting on gifts also to: “physician groups and other prescribers; pharmacies and pharmacists; health plans, pharmacy benefit managers and their employees; hospitals and medical schools; organizations that sponsor continuing medical education; patient organizations and professional organizations.”

Federal reporting requirements should carry broad pre-emption powers, the group advised, with exception to those state laws that mandate more information on payments and recipients than the US does, and the Secretary of Health and Human Services should be authorized to assess civil penalties on companies that fail to meet the requirements. 

Share this article:
You must be a registered member of MMM to post a comment.

Email Newsletters

MM&M Future Leaders


Register now

Early bird $1,950 before 31 October 2014

*Group discounts available on request 

MM&M EBOOK: PATIENT ACCESS

Patient access to pharmaceuticals is a tale of two worlds—affordability has improved for the majority, while the minority is hampered by cost, distribution and red tape. To provide marketers with a well-rounded perspective, MM&M presents this e-book chock full of key insights. Click here to access it.

More in Features

Read the complete October 2014 Digital Edition

Read the complete October 2014 Digital Edition

Click the above link to access the complete Digital Edition of the October 2014 issue of MM&M, with all text, charts and pictures.

Predicting your pink slip

Predicting your pink slip

Any time a firm needs to save money, high-salaried executives are targets

Private View: New ways to engage with customers

Private View: New ways to engage with customers

These healthcare social media campaigns successfully use emotion, altruism and the human desire to "brand" oneself to get customers engaged.