Monday, 13 October 2014

Finding out what Neuros get paid by Big pharma

"The Sunshine Act makes it possible to see which Big Pharma and medical device companies pay your doctor



At ACTRIMS/ECTRIMS there was business as usual but the industry stands were in stereo one for US Docs and one for the Rest of the World. The stands were rather stripped down compared to yesteryear. 

Whilst some companies still lavish corporate hospitality as part of their engagement with clients, this has essentially been removed from the pharmaceutical industry. The days of the company sponsored bar have gone...boo hoo. This is especially the case in the US.

The Sunshine law is part of the Affordable Care Act, passed by US Congress in 2010. It mandates that every pharmaceutical and medical device company in the country annually disclose payments made to doctors and teaching hospitals for a range of activities  including promotional speaking, research grants, meals, and trips of at least $10 value. In addition, manufacturers and group purchasing organizations are required to report physician ownership or investment interests.

The companies had to  provide details to the federal agency, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), about what they gave to whom and why, the amount and date of the payment, the name and address of the recipient, the associated physician ID number, the form of the payment (cash, services, stock options, etc.), and a few words about the context under which the payment was made.

Payments about medical doctors had to be reported but not nurse practitioners and physician assistants since the law doesn't require reporting on payments to these groups.

CMS made this information public in an online, searchable database that launched on September 30 2014."

Will this occur in the Europe maybe. Whilst this can be used for good purposes to inform, it will also lead to misconceptions

 No doubt this information will be used by malicious people as part of their attack on Doctors. We, notably ProfG, are subject to substantial malicious abuse, which may ultimately take down this blog. It is rather sad that a few misguided individuals can spoil it for the majority. 

I really wish they would go elsewhere and desist from their malicious actions

Maybe it is time to go Troll hunting? Any lawyer out there do Pro-Bono?

16 comments:

  1. That would suck if you had to take down the blog. It has given me so many answers I couldn't possibly find elsewhere in a world of cagey neuros. I hope you require people to use their real names first. We'd be more cautious about posting, but it would be better than losing you.

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    1. You would not believe the disgusting nature of some of the abusive posts. Time for a little detective work methinks, should be pretty easy to track down.

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    2. Not usually easy but it is doable. I really feel putting the post about 'engagement' as a stickie or on the top menu is a place to start. I had a blog, quite popular, but the amount of abuse was horrendous so I took it down a few years ago. Added into the mix was the sexism (putting it mildly) that I got. It was a political/philosophy blog so why should the fact I'm a woman matter. People feel so powerful when they hide behind their computer screen ...

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    3. This is MD posting in response to the post "I hope you get people to use their names first".

      It is just as easy to hide behind a false Identity I should know:-)

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    4. Will do about "Rules of engagement" but I suspect this will not stop the determined troll...they simply do not care.........Some of them mess up and have already shown their identities. However, this goes far deeper than a few nasty or misguided comments on the blog. We are big enough to take some of them on the chin, but some comments stretch the mark beyond acceptable

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    5. You don't have to appear with a real name you could give yourself an identity. Dr.Dre I doubt is an international rap star. However if you do post regularly with an identity then you do get a personal picture building up over time

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  2. Mouse Doctor,

    The Sunshine Act looks an excellent idea. We expect the same of our Ministers, MPs and Civil Servants. Transparency is good thing and goes hand in hand with good governance and democracy. Without such legislation abuses become the norm. It's strange that those Public servants who receive payments from companies e.g. pharma companies get rather worried when the details might be disclosed to the public. I wonder why they become so concerned? Perhaps when they look at the numbers in the cold light of day, they realise that the public has a case for being concerned.

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    1. The sunshine act would not affect me I think even if I was in USA, I'm sure for people who are really that interested they can get the information, the sunshine act just makes it easier. I personally think there are better things to spend your time on.

      One day I'll tell a funny story about pharma money one day.

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  3. It would be a real loss to the MS community to lose this blog :( Is there a system you can use where comments containing abusive language are automatically screened so they bounce back to the sender?

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    1. Abusive comments generally go straight to spam due to the Google Spam filter....there are certain words that trigger this. However, it good to have them stored, so we have the ammunition and proof. Google can be made to give up anyone up.

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    2. I second the comment from anonymous 6:49 pm. This blog provides a great deal of support by providing high quality, in depth analysis of current research in ms. There is nothing else quite like this on the internet and it really would be a big loss to the ms community at large if this site were taken down.

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  4. I am sorry that you are subjected to abuse. Your service is valuable to all of us. I hope you can find a way to deal with this and keep your blog going.

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  5. Thanks for the support. This post was not about ego massage, but our egos have been massaged by your kind comments ..thanks

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    1. You deserve our support and gratitude. I do sort of agree with other comments that anonymous comments can create this. But if it does become real names, then I'd have to stop posting, as I can't afford to let a wider audience know I have MS. Sadly we live in a very prejudiced culture and that would be the end of my career!

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    2. Anonymous posting is fine. We understand but some seem to think that posting anonymously gives them a cloak of invisibility to post vile abuse but in fact it is anything but and a simple matter to track down offenders (as illustrated by the recent trolling prosecutions in the UK). Anyway the matter is in hand.

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  6. Please, never underestimate what you giving us. You are a lifeline! Definitely up there with the support I get from my neuro team and a good GP.

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