MONARCH BEACH, Calif.--()--In a letter sent yesterday to the White House, Charles D. Rosen, MD, President (2005-2011) and Co-Founder of the Association for Medical Ethics, joins with other physicians calling for action on the Physicians Payments Sunshine Act. This Act is being held up from enforcing the law requiring public disclosure and transparency of the financial relationships between physicians and drug/medical device companies. The PPSA was part of the Affordable Care Act passed in 2010. The letter states, “three years later, we are disappointed that the PPSA has yet to be implemented—especially in light of reports that the final rules are being held up at the White House Office of Management and Budget.”
“Let the Sunshine In: Implementing the Physician Payments Act.”
Dr. Rosen was one of the signatories on the letter written to the Jacob Lew, Office of the Chief of Staff. The other signatories included: Marcia Angell, MD, Senior Lecturer in Social Medicine, Harvard Medical School and Former Editor-in-Chief, New England Journal of Medicine; Jerry Avorn, MD, Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School; Jerome Kassirer, MD, Distinguished Professor, Tufts University School of Medicine; Steve Nissen, MD, Professor of Medicine Cleveland Clinic Lerner School of Medicine.
The Association for Medical Ethics was one of the leading grass roots organizations that worked closely with Senators Charles Grassley (R) and Herb Kohl (D) in support of the Physician Sunshine Act. On behalf of the Association, Dr. Rosen was the only physician to testify before Congress in 2008 for the Physician Payments Sunshine Act. He testified again in September 2012 for the Senate Special Committee on Aging Roundtable “Let the Sunshine In: Implementing the Physician Payments Act.”
The letter goes on to state, “The administration should implement the Act without any further delay so that it can begin, as soon as possible, to rein in the undue and harmful influence of money on medicine.”
The physician payments information was meant to be in the hands of the public this year with a strict timeline set by Congress for a final rule by October 2011 followed by the drug and medical device companies collecting and submitting their physician payments by March of 2013. Due to being 15 months late on implementing the rules of PPSA means that the information will likely not be in the hands of the public until 2015.
“I think the letter highlights that this law has been held up from implementation in my opinion by big pharma and medical device companies who are trying to gut the teeth of the Act in a couple of ways,” Dr. Rosen said. “They are trying to change the rules of the law so foreign subsidiaries of companies paying money to American doctors don’t have to be reported. Also, they are trying to change the rules that medical devices or pharmaceuticals going through FDA Clinical Trials don’t have to reveal payments to authors/ researchers until after its approved. In my opinion medical device pharma companies are making the Act less transparent by not revealing the millions of dollars going to its physician researchers.”
ABOUT ASSOCIATION FOR MEDICAL ETHICS
The Association for Medical Ethics consists of hundreds of physicians from every specialty of medicine in multiple countries across the globe. The purpose of the Association is to promote patient care and evidence-based medicine and to provide increased public awareness of the detrimental and pervasive financial influence of industry on many health care providers and patients. The Association for Medical Ethics was the only physician-based, grassroots organization that worked closely with Senators Kohl and Grassley to help pass the Physician Payments Sunshine Act. For more information about the Association for Medical Ethics visit www.EthicalDoctor.org.
ABOUT CHARLES D. ROSEN, M.D.
Charles D. Rosen, MD, is the Co-Founder and President (2005-2011) of the Association for Medical Ethics, and Clinical Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery, University of California, Irvine, School of Medicine, and Founding Director of the UCI Spine Center. Dr. Rosen was on President Obama’s short list of nominations for U.S. Surgeon General in 2009.