Health Care Reform's 'Sunshine' Law Requires Drug and Device Company Disclosures

Employers in all industries face the challenge of implementing changes in their employee benefit plans as a result of the sweeping health care reform program that became law in March (see "Examining the New Health Care Law"). But health care providers, pharmaceutical companies and medical device makers face even more change as a result of "sunshine" and "integrity" provisions of the new law.

Included in the massive legislation is the Physician Payment Sunshine Act, which requires drug and device manufacturers to make annual federal disclosures of their financial relationships with, and in-kind contributions to, physicians and teaching hospitals. The reports will be available to the public via an online database. While some states already require such disclosures, the new law is the first federal transparency requirement for the health care industry.

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Mary Swanton

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