HCP disclosure: A false sense of transparency? by ProQuest


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HCP disclosure: A false sense of transparency?
                                         the media were quick to run        industry cannot stand alone in        this data. When that happens, the
                 Sheryl Williams      their own searches and “out” the      educating the public about the        media and public will be able to
                 Vice president,      named physicians even further         scope of the relationship and how     compare and contrast the data
                 corporate & public   by running their names and the        it benefits their care. the silence   from each company and track
                 affairs, Cephalon    amount of their remuneration          of our partners only strengthens      an hCP across companies.
                                      for the local community to see.       our critic’s position.                   it is too early to tell how these
                                         What was clear from the cov-          there is no doubt that these       online disclosure initiatives will
                                      erage and the response is that        postings will continue to generate    affect the industry and its rela-
CritiCs of the industry               the media and the public are
believe that our relationships        confused about what the data
with healthcare professionals         means. After all, how transparent        How transparent is information when
taint their objectivity and result    is information when the people           the people reading it have no base
in overuse of branded drugs.          reading it have no knowledge
some also believe that online         base from which to understand            from which to understand the info?
postings of company payments          the information? if the pub-
to healthcare professionals will      lic doesn’t understand how            interest until such time that all     tionships with hCPs or whether
lead many to reconsider their         medicines are developed and           companies have posted similar         the result will be an improvement
relationships with the industry.      approved or who is really deter-      information and there is consis-      in the public’s trust in the indus-
eli Lilly and Merck are the first     mining whether they receive a         tency in the information posted.      try. What is clear is that we must
companies to post their financial     treatment, how can they begin to      several more companies are            help our companies develop the
relationships on their company        understand their hCP’s relation-      expected to post similar infor-       context for understanding this
websites. Although the content        ship with the industry?               mation in early 2010. in addition,    information and work closer with
of those postings differed, the          the industry’s relationship        pending healthcare reform now         both our healthcare professional
reactions to these postings were      with hCPs is a partnership and        incorporates the Physicians Pay-      and patient partners to drive a
similar and will allow companies      it is time for all of the partners    ments sunshine Act, which may         better understanding of the value
that follow to better prepare.        to stand up and be counted. the       create one national standard for      of these relationships.

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