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New federal disclosure law may have little impact on drugs prescribed
Date:5/29/2012

AURORA, Colo. (May 29, 2012) A Colorado School of Public Health researcher has found that laws designed to illuminate financial links between doctors and pharmaceutical companies have little or no effect on what drugs physicians prescribe.

"If the policymakers who passed these measures were hoping for a deterrent effect they may be disappointed," said the study's lead author, Genevieve Pham-Kanter, Ph.D., an assistant professor in the Department of Health Systems, Management and Policy at the Colorado School of Public Health and a research fellow at Harvard University and Massachusetts General Hospital.

The report, published Monday in the Archives of Internal Medicine, was prompted by passage of the Physician Payments Sunshine Provision of the Affordable Care Act.

The new federal law requires drug manufacturers to disclose certain payments made to physicians including money for consulting, honoraria, gifts and travel.

"This law is based on the premise that transparency in these transactions is of public importance and that disclosure requirements can act as a deterrent against quid pro quo exchanges physicians may be reluctant to accept large payments from pharmaceutical firms if payments are publicly known and perceived as financial compensation for prescribing certain therapies," said Pham-Kanter who is also an assistant professor of economics at the University of Colorado Denver.

Working with Kavita Nair, Ph.D., associate clinical professor at the University of Colorado Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences and G. Caleb Alexander, MD, MS, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Pham-Kanter examined West Virginia and Maine, two states with disclosure laws already on the books.

She specifically investigated the effect of the laws on the prescribing of HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors (statins) and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). Marketing plays a heavy role in
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Contact: David Kelly
david.kelly@ucdenver.edu
303-315-6374
University of Colorado Denver
Source:Eurekalert

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