The Sunshine Act and Working with Thought Leaders

February 22, 2011 · Leave a comment

Industry Insights from Paul Meade, M.Sc. MPH

With the Sunshine Act getting closer to implementation, every company that works with thought leaders is preparing for full disclosure and transparency in the way they work and compensate these physicians and other medical experts. So the big question at hand is this–just how many thought leaders should a healthcare manufacturer work with going forward? Some say just a few and others say many. What’s the right answer here?

If we take the argument that working with just a select few is better, one could surmise that it is best to cement a working relationship with a few key thought leaders rather than get to know a “cast of hundreds.” This way, companies may gain a better understanding of the respective key opinion leaders’ interests, preferences, beliefs, and skills. Companies can more effectively create a set of activities that most appropriately matches the skills and experiences of each physician and work with the strengths of each physician to bring new insights into new medical treatment options.

But the one factor working against the “less is more” option is the fact that many academic medical institutions are placing limits on how much remuneration a thought leader can accept from the industry in a given year. Whereas, not too long ago, managed care organizations were placing providers ... read more »

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