Disclosure rule open for comments

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services is requesting comments on a proposed rule that would require drug and device companies to report all financial relationships with physicians. The new rule is part of the Affordable Care Act. It would require disclosure of payments for food, entertainment, gifts, consulting fees, honoraria, research funding for grants, education or conference funding, royalties or licenses, and insurable contributions. Physicians would also need to disclose stock ownership in pharmaceutical and device companies, with all this information provided on a public website. Failure to disclose this information would mean substantial fines for physicians. Comments will be accepted until mid-February with the final rule expected later in 2012.