A Cloudy Future for the Sunshine Act

The due date for posting another year’s worth of Physician Payment  Sunshine Act (a.k.a. Open Payments) data is fast approaching.  But the future for the Sunshine Act is cloudy.  A new Republican President combined with a recent academic study cast doubt on the Act’s future. Sunshine & the Affordable Care Act The Sunshine Act is part of the Affordable Care Act (“ACA”). Repealing the ACA is the top priority for…

Is Drug Price Transparency DOA?

Once again drug price transparency is in the news. Now it appears that efforts to improve pricing visibility are dead on arrival.  If we look at recent actions by Pfizer and Mylan, it may well be.  At the very least, their actions cast doubt Brent Saunders’ notion of a “social contract” between drug companies and patients. [1] Pfizer Sues Texas Pfizer and the Texas Health and Human Services Commission are in court.  Medicaid…

Drug Pricing Need Not Be This Hard

Mylan’s EpiPen continues making news, prompting patients to compare drug prices. They look at the prices in Canada, our closest neighbor, and they wonder why the prices here are two to three times higher for the same product. It is both dramatic and unsettling.  The pharmaceutical industry answer is “it’s complicated.” Yes, it is complicated.  For example, we’ve heard the argument about how Canada is single payer system and the…

Transparency’s Uncertain Future

I just returned from speaking at CBI’s 10th Annual Forum on Transparency and Aggregate Spend.  After 10 years and 3 CMS Open Payments reporting cycles, I’m struck by how uncertain the once bright future of the Sunshine Act is.  Overall, the industry remains mired in a transactional mud under increasingly gray skies. Too many companies still obsess about putting the right transaction (or transfer of value or (ToV)) into the right…

Enforcing Sunshine

As noted in a recent article from Policy and Medicine, we have now received our first definitive indication that the OIG and CMS are moving to enforce the Sunshine Act reporting requirements.  According to Mary Riordan, senior counsel at the Health and Human Services’ Office of Inspector General, life sciences companies can expect to see enforcement actions beginning next year.  Speaking at the Pharmaceutical Compliance Congress and Best Practices Forum in October,…