Life Sciences

Senators continue to investigate industry, physician ties

Device Regulation Alert: Safety, Compliance and Reimbursement News, October 20, 2008

Senators Charles Grassley (R-IA) and Herb Kohl (D-WI) are looking into industry payments to physicians at Columbia University and the Cardiovascular Research Foundation (CRF).
In a letter to Columbia, the senators requested information about outside payments received by 20 Columbia physicians and asked the university to disclose how much funding it had received from five medical device companies and the CRF. The senators also asked the university to explain its relationship with CRF.
In a letter to CRF, the senators asked for an accounting of all industry funding CRF has received from medical device manufacturers and foundations. The senators said they are concerned that funding from the industry could influence nonprofit foundations like CRF. Grassley and Kohl also requested CRF to provide information about how much funding it had provided to 22 physicians.
Grassley and Kohl have been investigating ties between medical device manufacturers and physicians for several years. Last year, they introduced the Physician Payments Sunshine Act, which would require medical device companies to publicly disclose all funding to healthcare professionals over $50.


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