MedCity News eNewsletter

Q&A with John Castellani of PhRMA

The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) represents the country’s leading biopharmaceutical research and biotechnology companies. Dialogues+ had the opportunity to ask John Castellani, President and CEO of PhRMA, questions about his organization and the Physician Payments Sunshine Act….

The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) represents the country’s leading biopharmaceutical research and biotechnology companies. Dialogues+ had the opportunity to ask John Castellani, President and CEO of PhRMA, questions about his organization and the Physician Payments Sunshine Act.

Why did PhRMA want to be a part of Partners for Healthy Dialogues?

PhRMA supports the mission of Partners for Healthy Dialogues. As the Sunshine Act continues to be implemented, P4HD has been key to informing physicians and organizations about the new law.

Does PhRMA support the Sunshine Act?

PhRMA, and our member companies, support the principles of the Sunshine Act and its goal of transparency. It is critical that patients trust their physicians and the Sunshine Act might encourage more discussions around the value of company and physician interactions..

If anyone has questions about the practices PhRMA supports regarding interactions between physicians and biopharmaceutical/med tech professionals and companies, we encourage you to review our Code on Interactions with Healthcare Professionals, which was updated in 2009.

What are your concerns about the Sunshine Act?

While we believe that informed patients are empowered patients, we also need to ensure that physicians are involved in this process. Physicians have a limited window of time to register with the online database, which allows them to review any data being reported about them and dispute any data they feel is inaccurate. It is imperative that they are informed about upcoming deadlines regarding registration, once they are released, and actions to take.

How can physicians and companies stay up to date?

Make sure you check out Healthy Dialogues and follow P4HD on Facebook and Twitter. It is particularly important for physicians to stay on top of the latest news. Pay attention to the media coverage and talk to patients about why working with biopharmaceutical/med tech professionals and companies can help improve the quality of their health care.

Was the Sunshine Act discussed at your annual meeting last week?

David Pittman of MedPage Today had a chance to talk to company leadership at the meeting to ask about their perspectives on the Sunshine Act (read more: “PhRMA: Sunshine Not Driving Docs Indoors”. Companies shared support for the transparency that the Sunshine Act will bring, but feel it is imperative that context be provided.

New medicines and therapies, ongoing research, clinical trials and patient feedback are just a few things that come from the work physicians and biopharmaceutical companies collaborate on. Bob Hugin, Chief Executive Officer of Celegene and PhRMA’s former Board Chairman, said in the article, “Who wants to go to a doctor that is not the most well-informed?”

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