WASHINGTON D.C. - After more than a year of prodding from the Senate Special Committee on Aging, the federal government took a major step today aimed at exposing potential conflicts of interests between doctors and drug companies.
The long-awaited rule – drawn from the Physician Payments Sunshine Act - was released late Friday by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. The rule puts in place a system requiring pharmaceutical and medical device makers to disclose payments and gifts given to physicians. Consumers will have access to the information through a database administered by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Critics have long contended that the drug industry's practice of paying doctors influences medical decisions and leads to over-prescribing medicines and patients receiving unnecessary and expensive drug treatments.
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Government takes steps to expose financial ties between drug makers and doctors