Sunshine Act Could Make Pharma Target Other Groups Over Doctors

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More action will be required if the public hopes to benefit from the new legislation requiring doctors to disclose the money and gifts they’ve been secretly taking from pharmaceutical companies, argues Genevieve Pham-Kanter of the Drexel University School of Public Health in PLoS Medicine.

Pham-Kanter highlights key points:

  • The Sunshine Act will lead firms to be more forthcoming about physician payments but will also create incentives for firms to underreport and target nonphysician prescribers.
  • Whether transparency leads to diminished firm influence on doctors depends crucially on whether physicians who accept payments will be penalized by the public or other parties for accepting.
  • Many preconditions must be met before patients can effectively sanction doctors for receiving payments.

(Full text) Act II of the Sunshine Act (Pham-Kanter G. PLoS Medicine. November 4, 2014. 11(11): e1001754. doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001754)

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