WHILE STAYING FOCUSED ON SUNSHINE ACT REPORTING DEADLINES, DON’T LOSE SIGHT OF D.C. & OTHER TRANSPARENCY DISCLOSURE REQUIREMENTS
The D.C. Department of Health (DOH) recently released its latest report on pharmaceutical industry aggregate spend within the District, and the numbers point to a major spike in spending in 2012 from the previous year. The last time that happened was from 2006 to 2007.
The report, “Pharmaceutical Marketing Expenditures in the District of Columbia” said the industry spent $97.5 million on marketing and promotional-related spend in 2012. The DOH particularly highlights in the report that there was a more than two-fold increase in gift expenditures to reportable entities in D.C.
The report finding on gift expenditures may be further evidence that the industry is shifting higher-value spending away from individual HCPs as oversight and requirements around transparency continue to tighten. Some pharma organizations, for instance, have already announced plans to eliminate speaker fees for practitioners and this trend will likely continue in the coming months with higher spend amounts being allocated to reportable entities.
The report should be an important reminder to companies that multiple regulatory authorities continue to keep a close eye on spend patterns and trends and the DOH, in fact, makes it clear in the text that its transparency disclosure requirements only overlap with federal reporting mandates to a limited degree. Furthermore, while many originally speculated that state transparency requirements would fade away as federal requirements were rolled out, this statement from DOH and similar statements in states such as Massachusetts, Vermont and Minnesota indicate quite the opposite.
The takeaway? Remember, to approach your compliance program from a 360 degree view.