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For Immediate Release
February 1, 2013

Physician Payments Sunshine Act Regulations Released

M E M O R A N D U M

To:    Reporters and editors
Re:    Sunshine Act rule released
Da:    Friday, February 01, 2013

Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa is the co-author, with then-Sen. Herb Kohl, of the bipartisan Physician Payments Sunshine Act, enacted in March 2010.  The legislation came after Grassley’s investigative and oversight work that exposed numerous questionable financial relationships between drug companies and doctors.  For example, at Stanford University, the chairman of psychiatry received a federal grant to study a drug, while partially owning as much as $6 million in stock in a company that was seeking federal approval of that drug.  After exposure, the federal government removed the individual from the grant.  Today, the Administration released the long overdue, long-delayed federal rule implementing the Sunshine Act.  Grassley made the following comment on the rule.

“Disclosure brings about accountability, and accountability will strengthen the credibility of medical research, the marketing of ideas and, ultimately, the practice of medicine.  The lack of transparency regarding payments made by the pharmaceutical and medical device community to physicians has created a culture that this law should begin to change substantially.  The reform represented by the Grassley-Kohl Sunshine Law is in patients’ best interests.  I will stay vigilant about how this law is implemented, especially after the delays seen already.  The goal is straightforward, and CMS needs to make certain the reporting and disclosure are complete and clear.”

The text of the rule is available here.