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Johnson & Johnson Announces Support for Kohl-Grassley Physician Payments Sunshine Act of 2009

NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J., May 7 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- In letters to Senate Special Committee on Aging Chairman Herb Kohl (D-WI) and Senate Finance Committee Ranking Member Charles Grassley (R-IA), Johnson & Johnson today announced its support for the Physician Payments Sunshine Act of 2009 (S. 301). The company also committed to begin voluntarily disclosing payments made to physicians by its U.S. pharmaceutical, medical device and diagnostics companies.

"We are in favor of greater transparency regarding the relationships between healthcare companies and physicians," said Johnson & Johnson chairman and CEO William C. Weldon. "We continue to believe such transparency is in the best interest of patients, payers, other stakeholders in healthcare and the industry itself."

The U.S. pharmaceutical companies of Johnson & Johnson will begin voluntarily providing information about the payments that they make to physicians on their respective web sites beginning in the first half of 2010. Reporting will be expanded to include the company's U.S. medical devices and diagnostics units and will reflect the general provisions of the Physician Payment Sunshine Act by June 30, 2011.

"Since we first introduced the bill, there has been a groundswell of support from every corner. I wholeheartedly welcome the endorsement from Johnson & Johnson. Patients want to know that they can fully trust the relationship they have with their doctor. I am confident this legislation will pass during the 111th Congress," said Senator Herb Kohl (D-WI), Chairman of the Special committee on Aging.

Weldon said, "Greater transparency will enhance trust and recognition that collaborations between pharmaceutical and device manufacturers and physicians lead to important medical advances that save lives. I commend Senators Kohl and Grassley for a constructive exchange of ideas and look forward to continuing to work with them to help ensure their bill becomes law in this Congress."

Companies work closely with leading physicians to improve patient care and advance medical progress by collaborating on the development of new surgical devices, medicines and diagnostics. A key component involves partnering with physicians to ensure they are appropriately trained in the safe use of new, innovative therapies.

Properly designed, a single, nationwide approach to reporting physician payments that includes all manufacturers and allows reporting at the operating company level will be more useful to patients than a patchwork of disparate information resources based on different requirements across states and localities.

This decision demonstrates the ongoing commitment of Johnson & Johnson to furthering transparency. The company's pharmaceutical, medical device and diagnostic companies publicly disclose on their web sites the grants made for professional education and the charitable contributions made to advocacy groups. These units register clinical trials and disclose results of clinical trials on Johnson & Johnson companies also publish results of trials in professional journals and present results at scientific congresses.

The Physician Payments Sunshine Act of 2009, which is currently being considered by the Senate Finance Committee, would increase transparency in the relationship between physicians and manufacturers of drugs, devices, biologicals, or medical supplies for which payment is made under Medicare, Medicaid, or the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP).

About Johnson & Johnson

Caring for the world, one person at a time...inspires and unites the people of Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ). We embrace research and science - bringing innovative ideas, products and services to advance the health and well-being of people. Our 119,000 employees at more than 250 Johnson & Johnson companies work with partners in health care to touch the lives of over a billion people every day, throughout the world.

SOURCE Johnson & Johnson
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