A flurry of medical organizations have announced their own disclosure policies following the reintroduction of the Physician Payments Sunshine Act last week.
The Star-Tribune reports that Park Nicollet, a large Minnesota health provider network joins the Cleveland Clinic as one of a few private providers disclosing payments to its doctors on a public website, and the North American Spine Society will now require all its members involved in Society activities to disclose their industry payments, as well, says the Wall Street Journal.
The New York Times reports that Smith & Nephew medical device company is asking its reps to keep it 9-to-5 with doctors at the upcoming American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons conference, happening in that oh-so-9-to-5 town, Las Vegas. And after some after-hours allegations of a 2002 Medtronic whistleblower settlement were leaked last year, it’s easy to see why.
All this suggests that if there’s a transparency tide, it seems to be turning. And that’s good. Voluntary disclosure is good – but as we’ve argued here before, it does not reduce the need for the Sunshine Act, which would provide patients with a comprehensive, uniform, and reliable one-stop resource on doctors’ relationships with drug companies.