Primacea's founders describe the problems and pathways for physicians to manage their industry relationships under the bright lights of the Sunshine Act in a March 2013 Endovascular Today cover story.
"From inventing a new device to providing expertise on how it might be improved or best used, physicians interact with industry in a variety of ways, often receiving paid compensation for their time and work or being provided with meals or travel expenses. While ordinarily understood to be of value by many within the field, public and political scrutiny has increased in recent years, and legislation now dictates that all financial ties be disclosed publicly, online."
The interview describes the background of the Sunshine Act, how it grew to 76,000 words of regulations, and the reporting responsibilities around financial exchanges between industry and physicians.
It emphasizes the need for physicians to take responsibility for their own compliance. Every payment that physicians receive, directly or indirectly, will be reported on a publicly searchable website. Unless a physician has the tools to accurately record and track these relationships, he or she could find that they are ill-prepared in the event that questions arise about the work they do. Industry and hospitals will spend hundreds of millions of dollars annually to comply with the Act. Unfortunately, none of these expenditures will necessarily protect a physician.