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Drugmakers to disclose payments.

Two pharmaceutical companies will begin publicly disclosing how much each pays physicians.

Eli Lilly & Co. was the first company to step forward, followed a day later by Merck & Co.

Lilly is starting a registry that will compile payments to physicians who have served as speakers or advisers for the company. it will be available to the public on the company's Web site as early as the second half of 2009, Lilly officials said in a statement. The registry will be updated each year to reflect the previous year's payments.

The company said that by 2011, it aims to report whatever is required under the proposed Physician Payments Sunshine Act. That bill (S. 2029) was introduced by Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Sen. Herb Kohl (D-Wis.) in November 2007. As currently written, it would require manufacturers of pharmaceuticals, medical devices, and biologics to disclose the amount of money they give to doctors through payments, gifts, honoraria, and travel. Product samples for patients would be excluded.

The bill was endorsed by several major drug companies, including Lilly and Merck, by the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, the Advanced Medical Technology Association, and by the Association of American Medical Colleges, among others. But it has not had any movement since its introduction.

In a statement, Sen. Kohl congratulated Lilly, saying the company was "fulfilling the obligations of the Physician Payments Sunshine Act before it has been enacted."

Merck said that it will disclose grants to patient organizations, professional societies, and others for "independent professional education initiatives," which would include CME. Next year, it will include other grants made by the Merck Company Foundation and the Merck Office of Corporate Contributions, The Information will be posted on its Web site. Beginning in 2009, the company will also start disclosing payments to physicians on its speakers bureau.tical company funding of CME as a mandate, "not a luxury."
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Title Annotation:Practice Trends
Publication:Internal Medicine News
Date:Nov 1, 2008
Words:314
Previous Article:CME may slip without commercial funding.
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