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Cummings Issues Statement on New Transparency Requirements for Drug Companies Under Healthcare Law

Dec 17, 2013
Press Release
GlaxoSmithKline First Major Drug Company to Halt Payments to Doctors to Promote Products

Washington, DC —Today, Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, Ranking Member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, issued the following statement in response to reports that GlaxoSmithKline will become the first major drug company to stop paying doctors to promote its products, consistent with the Affordable Care Act’s strict consumer transparency and disclosure requirements:

“GlaxoSmithKline’s announcement—that it will stop paying doctors to promote its products and stop tying compensation of sales representatives to the number of prescriptions doctors write—is an encouraging step that shows another way the Affordable Care Act is holding insurers and drug companies to account while helping Americans in their daily lives.  I hope other companies will follow suit and increase transparency to help ensure patients are making the best medical choices.  For companies that choose not to stop these practices, they should be aware that Congress will scrutinize their actions very closely  through the ACA’s new reporting requirements.”

Section 6002 of Affordable Care Act provides that all drug companies, as well as device and medical supply manufacturers, must fully disclose gifts they make or financial arrangements they have with doctors, practices, or physician groups to prevent conflicts of interests and ensure full transparency and information for patients.

Title VI of the Affordable Care Act also requires doctors with financial interests in imaging services, like MRI services, to inform patients in writing that they may obtain such services from providers other than the referring physician, and provide a contact list to give patients greater choices.

It also requires employees who manage the prescription drug portion of health plans under Medicare or the Exchange to report information regarding any rebates, discounts, or price concessions they negotiate for prescription drugs to ensure more accurate payments for their services and keep health care costs down.

113th Congress