July 29,2009

Press Contact:

Jill Kozeny, 202/224-1308

Jill Gerber 202/224-6522

Grassley works for transparency in financial ties between doctors and industry

WASHINGTON --- Senator Chuck Grassley is asking the National Navy Medical Center for information about its policies and practices requiring military doctors to report income from the pharmaceutical, medical device and biologics industries.

Grassley said the inquiry is part of his ongoing effort to disclose these relationships to enhance transparency and, in turn, build public confidence in medical research and practice.

Grassley has conducted extensive oversight of financial relationships, especially among doctors who conduct research with the $24 billion awarded annually in federal grants by the National Institutes of Health.

Institutions receiving these federal dollars are required to track financial relationships, but Grassley has found enforcement of those requirements often to be either lax or non-existent.

Grassley also has twice sponsored reform legislation that would require payments from the drug industry to be publicly reported. Senator Herb Kohl is the cosponsor of the pending “Physician Payments Sunshine Act,” S.301.

Below is the text of Grassley’s letter to the Commander of the Navy Medicine National Capital Area.