New York, New York (PRWEB) July 30, 2013
Parker Waichman LLP, a national law firm dedicated to protecting the rights of victims injured by defective drugs and medical devices, comments on the debut of the Physician Payment Sunshine Act provision of the Affordable Care Act, which is being implemented this week to expose cases of allegedly fraudulent financial relationships between doctors and pharmaceutical and medical device companies, as detailed in the Feb. 8, 2013, Federal Register. It will do so by having the device makers and drug companies collect data on their financial relationships with doctors, researchers and teaching hospitals.
The provision resulted from six years of legislative and regulatory battles fought over whether some drug and medical device companies were gaining inappropriate influence, according to a July 28 (Minneapolis) Star Tribune report.
Minnesota is home to the multibillion-dollar medical technology sector, which believes the new federal mandate is cause for optimism, according to the article. Many companies are banking on these new regulations to quell any concern about alleged fraudulence.
Medtronic, one of the world’s largest device makers, is a recent example that highlights the medical device industry’s lingering concerns over doctor payments, the article noted. The U.S. Senate Finance Committee alleged in October that Medtronic had heavily influence medical-journal reports regarding its spinal fusion product, Infuse, the Star Tribune noted. The committee questioned whether doctors who supervised the studies had downplayed Infuse’s risks while shining a spotlight on the product’s benefits –allegedly doing so to the tune of $210 million in royalties and consulting fees paid to them from Medtronic over a 15-year period.
“We believe patients have the right to know things like whether their physician is getting paid a huge sum of money from the pharmaceutical company or medical device maker that makes the pill or medical device that the doctor prescribes for them,” said Parker Waichman LLP. “It should be quite obvious that there is potential for conflicts of interest in such instances.”
Starting Thursday, drug and medical companies must track transactions with doctors, teaching hospitals and other health-related businesses. The first round of data must be submitted to federal regulators by the end of the year; it is slated to be made public by next September. The new law comes with fines of up to $1.15 million for companies that fail to disclose. It also requires senior managers to sign off on the data, making them personally accountable.
Parker Waichman LLP is currently offering free legal consultations to victims of Medtronic Infuse Bone Graft Injuries. If you or a loved one suffered a serious complication or injury after receiving Medtronic Infuse, please contact their office by visiting the firm's Medtronic Infuse injury page at yourlawyer.com. Free case evaluations are also available by calling 1-800-LAW-INFO (1-800-529-4636).
Parker Waichman LLP
Gary Falkowitz, Managing Attorney