The Physician Payments Sunshine Act was enacted by Congress in 2010 as part of the healthcare reform law. The Sunshine Act is intended to make relationships between certain pharmaceutical and device manufacturers and healthcare providers more transparent, by requiring applicable manufacturers to report payments and other "transfers of value" provided to physicians and teaching hospitals to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).
Alcon believes that interactions with physicians and teaching hospitals have a critical role in advancing patient care and helping ensure that medicines are being used appropriately. We support the Sunshine Act and other initiatives that promote the transparency of these types of interactions and related payments and transfers of value. It is our hope that this information encourages a constructive dialogue about the relationships between healthcare companies and healthcare professionals and helps all stakeholders better understand the importance of these relationships to quality patient care.
Alcon interacts with physicians and teaching hospitals in many important ways. We consult doctors to get their insights and advice on diseases and products to help ensure we’re developing medicines that meet the needs of patients. We facilitate programs where physicians who are experts in their fields meet with their peers to help educate them about the appropriate use of FDA-approved medicines; this helps physicians make informed prescribing decisions with their patients. Our comprehensive compliance program provides the policies, training and tools to help ensure we consistently conduct these activities responsibly and in compliance with legal and regulatory standards.
We also engage physicians as clinical trial investigators and work with hospitals to conduct clinical research studies, which are fundamental to the development of innovative medicines, vaccines and medical devices that treat and prevent illness. Clinical trials are essential to help us understand the effectiveness and safety profiles of new treatments.
Novartis has a comprehensive program in place to help collect, track and report payments and transfers of value to physicians, teaching hospitals and research entities across all the Novartis Group companies covered by the Act. We believe that disclosing payments and transfers of value related to interactions with physicians and teaching hospitals helps foster trust with patients, healthcare professionals and government officials, and reinforces adherence to high ethical business standards.
We stand by this commitment to transparency and our rigorous data collection efforts. We also recognize what a complex undertaking it is to track and report this volume of data, and we are committed to ongoing collaboration with the CMS, physicians and teaching hospitals to help ensure we report the information requested.