Week in Review, July 1, 2014

CMS adds two dozen FAQs to the Open Payments website, PhRMA requests an extension to the data submission deadline, and more companies decide to share clinical trial data with researchers through the ClinicalStudyDataRequest.com portal.

Strike up the fife and drums, it’s time for the annual Star Spangled salute to the U.S.A. Independence Day is almost here! In a letter to his wife Abigail, John Adams suggested this day be celebrated with “pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires and illuminations from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forever more.” The great statesman’s words could not have been more prophetic. As you ponder how to best celebrate our nation’s independence this year, we offer a tradition of our own, this week’s compliance News in Review.

There was an explosion of information on the Open Payments website. CMS recently added over two dozen FAQs to the site. Most of the FAQs deal with Phase 2 data submission and attestation. The questions center on how long it will take CMS to validate submitted data; whether a resubmission of data requires a new attestation; and what the process is for resubmitting corrected data. Other FAQs about data collection, registration, and participation in Open Payments were also added.

PhRMA has sent a declaration of sorts to CMS, requesting an extension to the deadline for Open Payments Phase 2 data submission attestation. In its letter, PhRMA cited the technical issues its members were experiencing with the Open Payments website. The organization claims the problems seem to be occurring most with foreign companies and foreign subsidiaries of U.S. based companies and the CMS helpdesk is not operated during hours that would accommodate European or Asian time zones. Since several manufacturers have not even been able to complete the registration process, PhRMA is asking that the deadline be extended by 30 days. Two other concerns are also addressed in the letter. First, manufacturers do not have the ability to indicate when a manufacturer received a refund on a transfer of value. This is a common occurrence with research grants. Also, manufacturers are unable to use characters such as parentheses and mathematical symbols in the text box for assumptions.

Was last year’s Supreme Court decision concerning pay-for-delay deals the shot heard ‘round the pharma world? The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has opened several new investigations into pay-for-delay deals. In an interview, Markus Meier the head of the FTC’s health-care division, said “Our goal is to bring to an end to this practice by whatever means are available to us.” He did not provide any details regarding the new investigations. The agency is also looking for possible antitrust issues in patent settlements from the last 10 years.

Lilly, Bayer and Boehringer Ingelheim are joining the clinical trial data sharing celebration. The companies joined the list of those sharing of patient level clinical trial data through the ClinicalStudyDataRequest.com website. The site provides a secure Internet portal through which researchers can request patient-level anonymized data.

We wrap up this week’s firecracker report with a story from our friends overseas. The European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA) recently launched a website to highlight the disclosure rules associated with the EFPIA Disclosure Code on Transfers of Value to Healthcare Profession and Healthcare Organizations. The agency also released a template for upcoming disclosure reports.

With that, we close out this red, white and blue version of the Week in Review. Have a great week everyone, and an amazing Independence Day!

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