Waiting for the Sun to Shine

Waiting for the Sun to Shine

01.18.13 | By

Many in the healthcare community - ourselves included - are anxious to see the final regulations on the Physician Payment Sunshine Act. As we've said before, ethical interactions between our sector's companies and healthcare professionals are essential to maintaining patient trust. We support the principles of Sunshine because they are complementary to this belief and the eventual database has great potential - assuming the reported data contains appropriate context - to help patients understand the ways in which company/physician collaborations benefit both their health and medical innovation.

As we wait, I thought it an opportune time to remind Catalyst readers of PhRMA's "Code on Interactions with Healthcare Professionals." As of January 10, more than 60 biopharmaceutical companies - including over two dozen companies that are not PhRMA members - have signed on to the Code.

When the Code was strengthened in 2008, a few of the significant changes focused on compliance. For example, for the first time, signatory companies needed to state their intentions to abide by the Code and company CEOs and compliance officers were required to certify each year that they have processes in place to comply.

We recently updated the relevant Code materials on our website to reflect the latest information on signatory companies, compliance officers, annual certifications and external verifications.

As a reminder, the PhRMA Code reflects the commitment of biopharmaceutical research companies to provide up-to-date, accurate and truthful information about medicines to healthcare professionals. The Code affirms that interactions between company representatives and health professionals should be focused on the benefits and risks of medicines to help enhance patient care, providing scientific and educational information, and supporting medical research and education.

So, check out the Code if you haven't lately. Also, have a look at the Partners for Healthy Dialogues' website, a collaborative effort that PhRMA recently joined to help demonstrate the value of interactions between physicians and biopharmaceutical companies.

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