Friday, May 23, 2008

BLOGSCAN - On the Physician Payment Sunshine Act and CME Put on by MECCs

On the Carlat Psychiatry Blog, Dr Daniel Carlat discussed the Physician Payment Sunshine Act. This proposed legislation would mandate disclosure by drug companies of all payments over $500 made to physicians for speaking, consulting, travel, etc. Dr Carlat, however, noted an important loophole. The legislation would not cover payments made to medical education and communication companies (MECCs) to put on continuing medical education (CME) activities. Pharmaceutical, biotechnology and device companies often sponsor CME produced by MECCs. Such CME, even though it may be accredited, may be done more for marketing than educational purposes. But payments to physicians by MECCs made with money supplied by industry would not need to be disclosed according to the present form of the bill. Dr Carlat fears that the legislation, in its present form, may have the unintended consequence of promoting even more industry-sponsored (and industry-friendly) by MECC provided CME.


Anonymous said...

Alan Finder is the NYT reporter for this story. More details can be found in comments here.

Anonymous said...

there is another very large loophole - the industry simply pays international conference organisers to invite certain key speakers - all expenses paid.

the speaker receives his airline ticket and hotel voucher
and no payments need to be made in the speakers country of origin
in exchange the invited speaker may be asked to host a breakfast meeting for the sponsor