The Advanced Medical Technology Association, a medical-device trade group located in Washington, and devicemaker Medtronic, Minneapolis, are calling for changes in a proposed law that would mandate disclosure of devicemaker compensation made to physicians and medical institutions.
The bill, the Physician Payment Sunshine Act of 2007, was introduced last September by Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) and is set for a hearing Wednesday morning before the Senate Special Committee on Aging, which is chaired by bill cosponsor Sen. Herb Kohl (D-Wis.).
In separate news releases, both the Advanced Medical Technology Association, or AdvaMed, and Medtronic said they support the bills efforts to weed out inappropriate financial relationships between physicians and industry, but the two organizations asked that the bill be expanded to include small devicemakers, defined as companies grossing less than $100 million annually.
Medtronic believes the bill can and should (require) the same level of disclosure by all companies in the industry, regardless of size, according to a company news release. While the Sunshine Act does not exclude physician-owned companies from the disclosure requirements, both AdvaMed and Medtronic are calling for such companies to be expressly included among the types of devicemakers covered by the bill. Our collective understanding from (legislative) staff working on the bill is that there isnt clarity on whether (physician-owned) companies are in or out (of the intended disclosure requirement), so were pushing for clarity on this bill, said Medtronic spokesman Rob Clark. We do in fact think they should be included.
The Sunshine Law was introduced following federal investigations that disclosed orthopedic-device makers frequently offered physicians lucrative consulting contracts requiring little work in exchange for the doctors use of their devices. -- by Shawn Rhea
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