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Sunshine Act Survey: More Than 50% of Physicians Unprepared
Date:2/4/2013

PORTSMOUTH, N.H., Feb. 4, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- MMIS' third annual survey of doctors and their knowledge of the Sunshine Act found that physicians are actually less informed than they were one year ago. With the release of the final rules implementing the Sunshine Act on February 1, 2013, consumers and interested parties will have access to a comprehensive and searchable database to review certain payments and transfers of value made by pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturers to physicians and teaching hospitals. This healthcare policy is intended to increase transparency on the relationships between physicians and pharmaceutical and medical device companies.

The survey revealed that of the more than 1,000 physician respondents, over half admitted they didn't know that the law requires pharmaceutical and medical device companies to report on expenditures annually, and that such information would be available in a publicly searchable database.  63% were deeply concerned that a record of these payments will be available in a publicly searchable database.

Additional survey findings disclose that 21% of physicians would sever their relationship with a manufacturer who reported inaccurate information about payments or transfers of value if disclosed to the public, and 43% admitted this would affect their ongoing relationship with industry. The survey also included written physician comments and concerns; these ranged from loss of privacy to a lack of awareness on the part of the general public as to the context of physician/industry relationships.

This lack of understanding is increasingly problematic as the law's implementation date draws closer. This year's survey results reflect a 5% increase in unfamiliarity with the law's provisions by doctors in all types of care locations, from teaching hospitals to private practices.

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SOURCE MMIS, Inc.
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