HERE COMES THE SUNSHINE ACT!

HERE COMES THE SUNSHINE ACT!

We are in a new era of transparency in the relationship between physicians, hospitals and drug and device manufacturers. The Physician Payment Sunshine Act took effect on August 1st, 2014 and requires reporting of all financial compensation given to physicians and hospitals by industry to an online database. The database is publicly accessible and includes the dollar amounts received as well as the reason for the payment, ranging from food to medical education to research.

In our view, public access to this information is long overdue. The Colorado Medical Society reports that over 90% of physicians have some type of business relationship with industry manufacturers and 80% of physicians receive food or beverages – “drug company lunches” – in their offices. These seemingly innocent lunches are justified as medical education by including a brief promotional talk by a company salesperson about a particular drug. How much can a lunch cost? In 2011 pharmaceutical companies spent as much as $15.7 billion (that’s billion with a “B”) on these types of face-to-face sales.

One of our guiding principles since we opened our office in 1998 is that we do not accept any industry lunches, handouts, or gifts. We buy our own lunches, pens, pads of paper, and calendars, because we have always believed that the cost of these gifts and lunches is passed directly onto the patient in the form of higher costs at the pharmacy. We also feel that it is virtually impossible to avoid being influenced to some degree by people bearing gifts and it is vital that we make our decisions about medications and your health based on what is best for you, free from any conflict of interest. So we say let the Sunshine Act shine on!

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303.789.4949 1780 South Bellaire Street #700 Denver, CO 80222
303.789.4949 1780 South Bellaire Street #700 Denver, CO 80222