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Possible introduction of Physician Payments Sunshine Act in the russian healthcare sector

Possible introduction of Physician Payments Sunshine Act in the russian healthcare sector

Physician Payments Sunshine Act is a healthcare law to increase transparency of financial relationships between health care providers, which was adopted in the United States in 2013. The Act requires pharmaceutical companies to disclose information on any payments to health care providers. Today, there is a database available and open to public access where every patient can learn about the financial relationships between the pharmaceutical company and his or her physician.

Similar regulation exists in other countries, (dictating drug companies to disclose this type of information), the journalist Alla Astakhova writes in her blog. Starting from July 1, 2016, several dozen international drugmakers have to publish information relating to payments, including to the doctors in Russia. Will this change anything in the Russian healthcare system? Let’s listen to what the experts have to say.

According to the legal adviser of the non-profit partnership “The Healthy Future” Yuri Zabolotnikov, at this point there is no need for pharma to report payments or gifts to physicians in this country. The Article 74 of the Law “On the fundamentals of public healthcare” outlines the provisions that limit communication between representatives of the pharmaceutical companies and health care providers. However, these restrictions do not apply to payments related to clinical trials of drugs and medical devices or possible remuneration with regard to professional training or research activities. The HCPs pay personal income tax and this information is available only to the tax authorities.

“In addition to that, the federal law doeы not prohibit payments to health professionals under the legal entity contracts, i.e., the contracts with healthcare organizations, professional associations and other NGOs operating in the health care sector. The NGOs are not required to disclose information about payments to physicians and healthcare organizations, since that could can also undermine commercial confidentiality in relation to the parties to a contract or the third parties (subcontractors),” explains the lawyer.

At the same time, the pharmaceutical producers (in particular, the international companies) are regulated not only by the Russian legislation. For example, according to the Chapter VIII of the Code of the Association of International Pharmaceutical Manufacturers (AIPM, the Russian organization, a member of the European Federation of International Pharmaceutical Manufacturers), they are required to publish this information on their websites at the end of each year.

 “Most practitioners are not too worried by this issue. If an HCP does not want the information about him to appear in the reports, there are ways to go about it. For example, a group format can be employed (in that case it is impossible to discover a precise amount spent on each member of the group) or use the liaison organizations to transfer payments (like professional associations or NGOs)”, explains Evgeny Averin, MD.

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