The Physician Payments Sunshine Act requires manufacturers of drugs, medical devices and biologicals to collect, track and report certain payments and items of value given to physicians and teaching hospitals. But Repertoire readers say it really hasn’t affected their sales approach.
Alan Grogan, president, Grogan’s Healthcare Supply, Lexington, Ky.: “Previous policy and guidelines with respect to entertainment, dinners, gifts etc. had already reduced if not yet eliminated the sorts of payments or gifts that will now need to be reported. So, no, our interaction hasn’t really changed as a result, though the burden of reporting will make us even more cautious about actions that will require reporting.”
Gina Marchese, senior vice president, sales and marketing, MMS – A Medical Supply Company: MMS has really seen minimal impact. The Sunshine Act is really more tailored to manufacturers than distributors. Frankly, our margins have never allowed MMS, or most distributors, to employ this practice.
Ty Ford, general manager, Healthcare Services, Henry Schein Medical: From a sales perspective, we believe it will have an impact on the market, but to what extent remains to be seen. Henry Schein has always focused on the customer, and this is just another dynamic to which we are adjusting. When we engage customers, we typically find they’re unsure of how it will impact them. As we get more into it, we will take on the responsibility of educating our customers, just as we do with anything else.
Bob Ortiz, vice president, sales, physician office division, Medline Industries. We at Medline are very serious about adherence to the Sunshine Act and all healthcare regulatory policies. We have a detailed compliance program that we closely follow. We are regularly training via webinars, sales meetings, sales training classes, etc. We also closely monitor and track expenses and interactions in this area in accordance with the regulations.
Alexandra Caldwell, director of sales and marketing, Claflin Company. Our reps are definitely aware of it. But it is more for manufacturers, and more for companies that pay physicians for something, e.g., to act as a spokesperson for a product. If we do bring food in for a breakfast meeting with the doctor and staff, so we can educate staff members about a product, our reps know where the line is drawn, and that’s really all we ask. If they are trying to do something along these lines, we have them run it through management.
John Rademacher, president, ambulatory care, Cardinal Health. We did go through a significant amount of training around the Sunshine Act – what it means, and what our sales team’s responsibility is – to ensure they are in compliance. We feel we’re in a good position. But we continue to reinforce the training, and put systems in place to ensure our teams are working to the highest standards.