A physician-industry transparency system that requires the medtech sector to disclose publically the payments and transfers of value it makes to physicians and certain other providers is very welcome, but not in its current form. That was the conclusion drawn from yesterday morning’s opening panel discussion on global transparency which, among other things, examined different transparency models around the world, company concerns, and best practices when addressing emerging requirements.
The United States, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, and other countries have enacted or are currently contemplating the implementation of such systems. While the session’s panelists agreed that a transparent future was necessary, they also concluded that implementation was the biggest challenge.
Hollie Faust, senior vice president of ethics and compliance at Cardinal Health, said: “When I think about how many resources we all spend on tracking meals, for example, that’s not really what it’s all about. The obligation to report any transfer of value can generate distortions.”
The topic of global transparency is such a hot one for the medtech sector in part because it doesn’t know what to anticipate, said panelists. “Typically, we have used the pharma sector as a gauge of where we think medtech should go,” said moderator Alexis Wong, director at PwC.
The pharma sector is starting to adopt a ‘throw your hands up’ approach to transparency, said panelists. Frustrated with the Sunshine Act in the United States, which did not hold healthcare professionals (HCPs) responsible for transparency, pharmaceutical companies are reportedly seeking to amend their business model and do away with transparency around meals, for example.
“You don’t want your name associated with the negative aspects of transparency,” said Faust. “It’s simpler to just ban such conduct or have the HCPs own it.”
To read the article by Stephen Mulrenan