Here's the Scoop

Senator Chuck Grassley
2013-04-15 16:27:50
The Scoop Sunshine Law to Shed Light on Drug Company Dollars One step at a time, my effort to achieve public disclosure of payments from pharmaceutical drug makers to doctors is becoming a reality. This month, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services put up its website with guidelines for the National Physician Payment Transparency Program, which will post payments from drug, device and biologics makers to licensed physicians beginning in 2014. The goal of my reform effort is to help inform consumers and patients in all medical fields about financial relationships between drug makers and doctors with uniform disclosure. The public deserves a much better picture of the drug industry�s financial presence in medicine than it has today. The disclosure program was created by legislation I co-authored with former Senator Herb Kohl of Wisconsin, the Physician Payments Sunshine Act. Our sunshine bill became law in 2010. The legislative reform was driven by my investigative and oversight work that exposed a number of questionable financial relationships between pharmaceutical companies and leading medical research doctors. For example, � The chairman of psychiatry at Stanford University received a federal grant to study a drug, while partially owning as much as $6 million in stock in a company that was seeking federal approval of that drug. After exposure, the federal government removed the individual from the grant. � The chairman of psychiatry at Emory University failed to report hundreds of thousands of dollars in payments from a pharmaceutical company while researching that same company�s drugs with a federal grant from the National Institutes of Health. He earned $2.8 million in drug industry fees from 2000 to 2007 and had at one point consulted for 21 drug and device companies simultaneously. The professor resigned his chairmanship after this became public information. � Three professors at Harvard University failed to report almost a million dollars each in outside income while heading up several National Institutes of Health grants. In response to my oversight, Harvard revised its conflict of interest policies and conducted an internal investigation. Since the enactment of the Physician Payments Sunshine Act, I�ve worked to ensure implementation of the law by the Department of Health and Human Services, after delays and missed deadlines at the health-care agency and the White House Office of Management and Budget. I�ll continue that effort until public disclosure is achieved.
April 15, 2013

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Sunshine Law to Shed Light on Drug Company Dollars

One step at a time, my effort to achieve public disclosure of payments from pharmaceutical drug makers to doctors is becoming a reality. This month, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services put up its website with guidelines for the National Physician Payment Transparency Program, which will post payments from drug, device and biologics makers to licensed physicians beginning in 2014. The goal of my reform effort is to help inform consumers and patients in all medical fields about financial relationships between drug makers and doctors with uniform disclosure. The public deserves a much better picture of the drug industry�s financial presence in... Read more

Quid Pro Quo Leaves Taxpayers, Whistleblower with Questions

that I�ve been working on was released today that showed Assistant Attorney General Tom Perez orchestrated a controversial deal with the city of St. Paul, Minn., that prevented the Justice Department from recovering hundreds of millions of dollars back to the taxpayers, and left a whistleblower out in the cold. I released with House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa and House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte provides details and documentation about how Perez manipulated a deal in which the federal government would decline to be a part of two False Claims Act cases pending against St. Paul, Minn., in exchange for the... Read more

Easing the Pressure on High Caseload Federal Courts

The federal judiciary is one of the most respected institutions within the federal government. Yet, it�s clear that the caseloads in each of the federal circuit courts vary widely. So, last week I introduced legislation to ease pressure on the heavy workloads of the Second and Eleventh Circuit Courts of Appeals, which . My legislation would add a seat to both the Second and Eleventh Circuit Courts and remove three seats from the D.C. Circuit Court. These changes make sense. Currently, the D.C. Circuit has , the lowest in the nation. By contrast, the Second Circuit has 425 appeals filed per authorized judgeship and the Eleventh Circuit, the busiest appeals court in the country, has 583 appeals filed per authorized judgeship. In addition, when you , the D.C. Circuit is by far the lowest in the nation with 108 total appeals concluded per authorized judgeship. By comparison, the Second Circuit is four times higher and the Eleventh Circuit is five times higher, at 540 appeals concluded per authorized judgeship. And lastly, when you look at , the D.C. Circuit has 120 appeals pending per authorized judgeship, which means it is essentially tied for last with the Tenth Circuit that has 115. In contrast, the Second Circuit and the Eleventh Circuit have 343 and... Read more

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