CU: Open Payments site will help shine spotlight on potential conflicts of interest between doctors and drug, device makers

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Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Consumers Union: Open Payments site will help shine spotlight on potential conflicts of interest between doctors and drug, device makers

WASHINGTON — The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services today is launching the Open Payments website to provide information to the public about the financial relationships of drug and medical device manufacturers, doctors and teaching hospitals. The database is a requirement of the Physician Payments Sunshine Act, a provision of the Affordable Care Act.

Lisa Swirsky, senior policy analyst for Consumers Union, the advocacy arm of Consumer Reports, said, “Consumers Union strongly supports the Sunshine Act and the release of this data.  Making this information available will illuminate and hopefully root out potential conflicts of interest between doctors and the drug and device makers.  Consumers deserve to know the financial relationships among these players.  These manufacturers need to put more focus on research, less focus on marketing, and we hope this kind of financial transparency will encourage that.  While reported setbacks with some of the data are disappointing, it is important to keep things in perspective.  Data quality improves over time when stakeholders and the public have a chance to review it and address issues.”

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Contact: David Butler, Consumers Union, 202-462-6262dbutler@consumer.org