Physician payment transparency requirements in the United States, Europe and Pacific Rim

The Physician Payments Sunshine Act in the United States and similar regulations in other parts of the world address a growing demand for greater transparency regarding financial relationships between life sciences companies and healthcare providers. This space provides background and content for these regulations. For current insights on life sciences compliance information, visit our Legislative Watch.

Federal Sunshine Act

Transparency Reporting US

In the United States, the Physician Payments Sunshine Act (PPSA) was enacted in 2010 through section 6002 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA). The intent of PPSA was to increase transparency of financial relationships between life sciences companies and healthcare providers, including physicians and teaching hospitals.

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European disclosure laws and other regulations

Transparency Reporting - Europe

Open payments reporting in Europe is a patchwork of self-regulation and national legislation — with a great degree of variation in the specifics from one jurisdiction to the next.

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Open payments reporting in Pacific Rim countries

TransparencyReporting - Pacific Rim

Like Europe, the Asia-Pacific region is a mix of national laws and industry association codes. In 2011, the Japan Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association (JPMA) published Transparency Guidelines for the Relation between Corporate Activities and Medical Institutions.

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The future of transparency reporting requirements

The landscape for physician payment transparency continues to evolve, especially in Europe, where there is a push for greater consistency across reporting jurisdictions. Elsewhere, the list of jurisdictions that require some type of transparency reporting continues to grow. Ontario, Canada, passed the extensive Health Sector Payment Transparency Act in 2017. In the Middle East, the Saudi Food and Drug Authority launched its Pharmaceutical Company Payments Disclosure Initiative in 2018, and the Brazilian state of Minas Gerais now requires disclosure of any type of donation or benefit to health professionals.

Additionally, the process of gathering and reporting physician payment data is changing as more sophisticated tools improve accuracy and efficiency. For example, in the first Open Payments reporting period, CMS withheld 4.4 million records, representing $514 million, from publication due to incomplete or inaccurate data. Today, end-to-end software-as-a-service (SaaS) solutions enable companies to automate the entire process, from qualifying healthcare professionals (HCPs) and establishing fair market value to managing contracts and grants to generating activity reports and more. These systems generate data that empower life sciences companies to better understand their operations and to build more constructive partnerships with HCPs and healthcare organizations.

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