After many long delays, CMS today released the final details of the Sunshine Act. Starting next September all pharmaceutical and device companies will be required to publicly report payments made to US physicians.
However, there is at least one very major exception to this requirement. Although the initial draft of the rules stated that payments made, directly or indirectly, to physicians speaking at continuing medical education (CME) programs would need to be reported, this part of the rule has now been substantially weakened. According to the final rule, companies will not be required to report payments to speakers at accredited CME events as long as the companies don’t select the speakers or directly pay them. In other words, accredited third party CME providers will be entirely exempt from reporting payments to speakers.