GRASSLEY, KOHL SEEK INFORMATION ABOUT MONEY GOING FROM MEDICAL DEVICE MAKERS TO DOCTORS


WASHINGTON - Senators Chuck Grassley and Herb Kohl are continuing their campaign to shed light on financial relationships between the pharmaceutical and medical device industries and medical doctors. Today the senators sent letters asking for detailed information about industry dollars going to research physicians affiliated with Columbia University and to the Cardiovascular Research Foundation.
 
The inquiry responds to information about the Cardiovascular Research Foundation's support for an annual conference promoting cardiac devices and techniques and additional financial relationships between professors of medicine and cardiac devices companies featured at this conference.  Links to the senators' letters is below this news release.
 
Last fall, Grassley and Kohl introduced S.2029, the Physician Payments Sunshine Act, which would require companies that make pharmaceuticals, medical device and biologics to disclose payments they make to physicians.  The information would be made publicly available online by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
 
Both Grassley and Kohl have conducted oversight of the financial relationships between doctors and industry.  Kohl has chaired hearings of the Senate Special Committee on Aging and continues to pursue an ongoing investigation of such relationships, having recently sought information from the American College of Cardiology.  Grassley has conducted an extensive review of industry payments to leading research doctors and called on the National Institutes of Health to fully exercise its authority to achieve disclosure of financial relationships between industry and the doctors who conduct $24 billion each year in federally sponsored medical research.
 
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The letter to the Cardiovascular Research Foundation can be found here:
http://www.aging.senate.gov/letters/cardiovascularresearchfoundation.pdf
 
The letter to Columbia University can be found here:
http://www.aging.senate.gov/letters/columbiauniversity.pdf