Changes to Sunshine Act Reporting Requirements Coming Soon?

Sarah Ray, regulatory affairs and safety researcher
By Sarah Ray,
Senior Research Analyst

The Medicare Payments Advisory Commission (MedPAC) is a 17-person-strong, independent agency that apprises Congress of issues affecting the US Medicare program.  Back in 2008, the group played an instrumental role in the formation of the Sunshine Act aspect of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).  Since then, the group continues to track Open Payments outcomes and propose recommendations to Congress.  Continue reading


Where Are Physician Payments Going? A Look At Potomac River Partners’ 2014 CMS Data Analysis

Victoria Cavicchi, pharmaceutical social media researcher
By Victoria Cavicchi,
Research Analyst

Key opinion leaders and physician experts have a long-standing tradition of working with pharmaceutical and medical device companies to further mutually beneficial goals.  These goals and activities often include research and continuing medical education.  With the US Sunshine Act firmly in place, we can see more clearly how the life sciences manufacturers interact with KOLs and allocate physician payments.  Continue reading


Recent Rate Card Sampling Shows Life Science Teams Reimburse KOLs at Similar Rates

Sarah Ray, regulatory affairs and safety researcher
By Sarah Ray,
Senior Research Analyst

Life science teams enact a number of strategies to assure fair market value (FMV) rates when compensating industry key opinion leaders (KOLs).  The rate cards that these pharmaceutical and device teams develop include payment ranges for advisory board and speaker programs, among other medical affairs activities.  In some cases, these rates are determined on an hourly basis.  In others, rates are capped at a pre-determined maximum, flat rate.  Continue reading


Female Key Opinion Leaders Receive Smaller Percentage of Research Funding, Finds Recent Cleveland Clinic Study

Sarah Ray, regulatory affairs and safety researcher
By Sarah Ray,
Senior Research Analyst

Over the past few years, the industry has paid close attention to the Sunshine Act’s physician payment reporting requirements.  Ideally, publication of payment data will usher in a new era of transparency regarding how key opinion leaders (KOLs) interact with life science teams.  However, while many healthcare consumers may welcome Sunshine Act reporting, some physicians and industry groups remain apprehensive that consumers will take financial information out of context.  Moreover, previously released physician payment data already demonstrates that individuals may not always receive equivalent compensation for the same types of work. Continue reading



Can’t Reach Physicians? Time to Implement Customer-Centric Strategies

Victoria Cavicchi, pharmaceutical social media researcher
By Victoria Cavicchi,
Research Analyst

In recent years, pharmaceutical companies’ commercial teams have faced a growing number of challenges in the market.  These organizations have already faced two major patent cliffs, both of which filled the market with a number of generics and biosimilars alongside an increasing contingent of branded competitors.  Now, sales representatives are seeing more and more doctors close their doors to pharma’s commercial forces in response to the Physician Payment Sunshine Act.  In the wake of these challenges, pharmaceutical sales teams have had to evolve their traditionally product-centered commercial models to better meet their customers’ demands. Continue reading


The Sunshine is Spreading: Physician Payment Reporting Obligations Have Become a Global Affair

Sarah Ray, regulatory affairs and safety researcher
By Sarah Ray,
Senior Research Analyst

The US Sunshine Act is probably among the more well-known regulations governing the life science industry’s interactions with physicians and other healthcare community members.  However, when it comes to physician payment reporting obligations, the United States is not the only country with a little sunshine to spare. Many other countries have also recently drafted or enacted physician payment disclosure requirements of their own. Continue reading



The Demand for and Implementation of Medical Publications Transparency

I play video games often in my free time and hold a particular love for the Portal series.  At the end of the first game, there is a cute song that contains the line, “We do what we must because we can.”  There aren’t many similarities I can find between pharma and the fictional Aperture Science company from the games (pending any news regarding armies of mantis men).  But that particular line lies parallel to the situation in which many companies find themselves as the digital age continues to bloom.  Medical publications transparency, in particular, is one area in which several companies are only beginning to actually do what they must. Continue reading


Selecting the Right Key Opinion Leader is Imperative in an Era of Increased Transparency

Eric Bolesh, commercialization and alliance management expert
By Eric Bolesh,
Senior Director

GlaxoSmithKline recently announced that it will create an internal team of doctors tasked with educating peers about its products. In December 2013, GSK decided to stop hiring external speakers. The company hopes that “hiring doctors and medical experts to speak as in-house representatives of Glaxo will provide more transparency,” according to Deirdre Connelly, GSK president, North America pharmaceuticals. The decision to form an internal education team underscores the importance of engaging physicians in discussions regarding product efficacy. When making prescribing decisions, physicians look to well-respected peers to affirm their choices as they seek to treat patients using the best possible options. Continue reading