Week in Review, May 27, 2014

CMS prepares for Phase 2 of Open Payments registration, data submission, and attestation; Washington D.C.’s Department of Health announces it will not require the reporting of gift expenses; Roche gets a visit from the State Authority for Industry and Commerce in China; and the FDA evaluates its off-label promotion policies in light of First Amendment cases.

Summer has arrived! Well, not really, but Memorial Day certainly marks the unofficial start of the season. And nothing says summer more than a trip to the beach. Or as our New Jersey staffers like to say, “down the shore.” If you’re struggling to shake the sand off of a memorable weekend at the beach, and refocus on all things compliance, we’ve got just the remedy…this Week’s News in Review.

Break out those beach towels and SPF 70, it’s time to bask in the Sunshine. Phase 2 of Open Payments registration, data submission and attestation will begin on June 1. This phase will occur in two parts, with the first beginning June 1. Applicable manufacturers and GPOs will be able to register in Open Payments; confirm the reporting entity profile; assign roles within the system; and upload test files. Then, beginning June 9, manufacturers will be able to submit final reports and attest to the accuracy of those reports. Companies have until the end of June to complete both parts of Phase 2.

The Sunshine is a little less intense in Washington D.C. The District’s Department of Health will not require pharmaceutical companies to submit gift expenses for physicians and teaching hospitals. For the 2013 reporting year, manufacturers and labelers do need to report physician and teaching hospital gifts provided prior to July 31, 2013. Also, expenses for all other recipients must be reported. Reporting requirements for advertising and aggregate expenses remains the same.

Roche may have found themselves caught up in the wave of bribery investigations in China. The company revealed that China’s State Authority for Industry and Commerce (SAIC) paid a visit to one of its facilities in China. The SAIC is generally the lead agency in bribery cases. Roche said the reasons for the visit were not immediately clear.

Could the FDA be rearranging the beach chairs when it comes to off-label promotion? Recent court decisions have raised issues around the First Amendment and drug promotion, and FDA chief counsel says the agency is taking the “First Amendment concerns very seriously.” The Center for Drug Evaluation and Research chief, Janet Woodcock said, “We are currently carefully evaluating our policies in light of court decisions on First Amendment issues.” While the agency may be revaluating its stance, the DOJ still intends to aggressively pursue off-label cases.

Speaking of the FDA, the agency is planning a study to determine if bargain-hunting consumers weigh price more heavily than other attributes of a drug. The study will show three versions of an ad for a diabetes drug to patients and HCPs. One ad will feature a price comparison between the advertised drug and a competitor, another will feature pricing information only for the advertised drug, and the third version will state the drug’s safety and efficacy profile, and one that will inform the viewers that actual prices may vary. The FDA currently allows manufacturers to include pricing in advertising but very few do.

June 1 not only marks the beginning of Open Payments Phase 2 for manufacturers, it’s also the start date for physicians to register with CMS to access the reported data. This is a critical time for the industry, and keeping your team up to speed on requirements of the Sunshine Act is more important than ever. The PharmaCertify™ module, The Sunshine Act: The Federal Physician Payments Disclosure Law, includes a comprehensive list of the disclosure requirements included in the law and the physician spend information that will be shared with the public.

Have a great week everyone.

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