Washington, DC (Jan. 22)—Senators Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Herb Kohl (D-WI) introduced S. 301, known as the Physician Payments Sunshine Act of 2009 to the 111th Congress. The legislation requires drug, device, and medical-supply manufacturers that receive payments through Medicare, Medicaid, or the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) to disclose to the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) any things of value they give to doctors. Items include payments, gifts, travel compensation, honoraria, and funding for continuing education and research. Companies would be required to report these items beginning Mar. 31, 2011.
The bill also requires HHS to establish procedures for companies to submit the required information and procedures for HHS to make this information available online by Sept. 20, 2011.
The bill amends title XI of the Social Security Act “to provide transparency in the relationship between physicians and manufacturers of drugs, devices, biologicals.” The bill is similar to S. 2029, which is the 2008 version that was introduced to the 110th Congress but never acted upon. The 2009 legislation clarifies the preemption provisions that were questioned in the previous version. The new bill specifies that states have the authority to collect additional information from companies as long as the information is not specifically covered by federal law.
The bill has been referred to the Senate Committee on Finance.