Study says docs favor COI disclosure

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Lisa Iezzoni, one of the study's authors
Lisa Iezzoni, one of the study's authors

Most physicians agree that it's important to disclose to patients any financial relationships with drug and device companies.

About 65% of the 1,800 physicians surveyed in a 2009 study discussed in Health Affairs support disclosing potential conflicts of interest (COI) to patients. But 35.4% still do not completely agree that they should disclose.

Requiring disclosure of financial ties “could be perceived by physicians as something new and intrusive,” Lisa Iezzoni, a professor at Harvard Medical School and lead author of the study, told MM&M.

The Sunshine Act stipulates that drug and device companies start reporting payments of $10 or more to physicians by March 2013.  But disclosure to patients may not immediately follow. “Physicians who do not support public disclosure might resist communicating this information to inquiring patients,” the study authors note, “or might make these conversations more difficult.”

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