Life Science Compliance Update

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February 07, 2013

In Light of National Physician Payment Sunshine Act Final Rule: Minnesota to Propose to Drop State Reporting and Retain Gift Ban

In light of CMS releasing the Final Rule for the Physician Payment Sunshine Act, the Minnesota Board of Pharmacy recently announced that it will be amending its annual disclosure requirements regarding payments drug and device manufacturers make to physicians and other healthcare professionals or entities.   

As we noted several years ago,  Minnesota Statutes Section 151.47, requires drug wholesalers (including manufacturers) to “file with the board an annual report, in a form and on the date prescribed by the board, identifying all payments, honoraria, reimbursement or other compensation authorized under section 151.461, clauses (3) to (5), paid to practitioners in Minnesota during the preceding calendar year”.  Another section of the law prohibit manufacturers and wholesale drug distributors from providing “gifts” to practitioners, including physicians.   

Taking into consideration the upcoming Sunshine Act regulations, which preempt any state law that requires a manufacturer to disclose the type of information covered by the Sunshine Act, the Board of Pharmacy determined that it will “not require wholesalers and manufacturers to report any data for calendar year 2012” because the “vast majority of data that is reported under Minnesota law is information covered by the Sunshine Act.”  

The Board will also be asking that the Minnesota Legislature repeal the annual disclosure requirement during the 2013 session.  The Board will not be asking the Minnesota Legislature to repeal the partial gift ban and reiterated that the ban remains in effect.

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First of all, MN is showing a little common sense in rolling back redundant regulation. I think all governments-state, Fed & local should have similar PUBLIC disclosure laws for anything of value provided by lobbyists, campaign contributions or from anyone with a vested interest in the passage of legislation or regulation. Lawmakers & regulators are in a much stronger position for waste & fraud of public moneys than anyone in the healthcare business. As usual, government officials force regulations on citizens that could never be applied to their own ethics.

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