CMS frequently reminds Sunshine Act critics that the Sunshine Act is a disclosure statute. CMS reports the data submitted by applicable manufacturers and applicable group purchasing organizations, and the public decides how to use it. Most commentators who have reported on the 2013 Sunshine Act data have focused on dollar amounts paid to individual physicians.
ProPublica, the online journal, recently took a different approach. The ProPublica analysis categorized pharmaceutical company spending by individual drug products. That is, the report identified the drug products that received the most manufacturer support in the form of payments to physicians and teaching hospitals. ProPublica’s analysis revealed that companies focus much of their physician expenditures on newer drugs that fight for market share with older available therapies that often are less expensive. The goal is to distinguish the newer drugs in a crowded marketplace. The New York Times reported on the ProPublica analysis in a recent article that you can read here: http://nyti.ms/1BII4Lp
The reporting season for 2014 Sunshine Act data is nearly upon us. I will continue to keep you informed of new developments as they occur.