MINNEAPOLIS–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Medtronic (NYSE: MDT – News) announced today its commitment to voluntarily disclose payments to U.S. physicians. The company will begin capturing payment data for all of its businesses on January 1, 2010 and will publicly report this information annually. The first disclosure will occur in March of 2011 and will address payments made to physicians during calendar year 2010. The company will commission an annual third party audit to demonstrate its commitment to the accuracy of these postings, and will make a summary of the audit results public.
Medtronic will report the amount paid in consulting fees, royalties or honoraria for physicians who receive payments of $5,000 or more per year from Medtronic. Consulting agreements include counsel for areas such as education and training, clinical trial design and administration, and product design and safety. The company currently plans to report these data on its company website.
“Relationships between industry and doctors are essential to innovation, education and training in our industry,” said Bill Hawkins, chairman and CEO. “Through greater transparency about the nature of these relationships, we will help people better understand how important they are to developing life-saving and enhancing products for patients who need them.”
Medtronic initiated a first step toward greater transparency when it launched its online Donations Registry in August 2008 (available at www.medtronic.com). The donations registry makes public donations given by Medtronic to U.S. customers or organizations affiliated with customers, including patient groups and medical societies. In addition, the company has supported Senator Charles Grassley and Senator Herb Kohl’s proposed legislation, the Physician Payments Sunshine Act, which proposed that all medical device manufacturers publicly disclose payments made to physicians for their inventions and assistance in product development, research and training. The company continues to support appropriate legislation in this area. Finally, Medtronic, with the Advanced Medical Technology Association, led the creation of an industry code of ethics designed to guide industry day-to-day relationships with healthcare professionals.
“We will work hard with the bill sponsors to get this legislation passed,” said Hawkins. “These efforts will ensure a level playing field and consistency in reporting.”