December 5th, 2012|
December 3, 2012
This past year, a law went into effect called the Affordable Care and Patient Protection Act (ACPPA), which makes it mandatory that makers of medical devices and products disclose their payments to doctors, according to The Plain Dealer.
Makers of pharmaceuticals and medical devices have been known to pay doctors thousands of dollars each year to help develop and promote their products.
The New York Times says that about a quarter of the United States’ physicians accept such payments.
Many people wonder whether an arrangement that increases a doctor’s bank account might not have too much influence on the medical decisions that s/he make for his/her patients.
Covered under ACPPA is “any financial reward to a doctor who helps to develop, evaluate, or promote a product. Disclosure would also be required in cases of royalty payments for inventions and payments to teaching hospitals that help companies with research, development, and testing of products.”
Each payment that goes unreported, or undisclosed, could cost up to $10,000 in fines, and the federal government is creating an auditing program to ensure compliance.
Patients need to know that their doctor’s only interest is in making them well. The problem in the past has been that secrecy intensified the appearance of conflict of interest.