May 20,2008

Support grows for disclosure of drug and device maker money to doctors


TO: Reporters and Editors
FR: Jill Kozeny, 202/2224-1308 for U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa
RE: Disclosure of drug and device maker money to doctors
DA: Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Senator Chuck Grassley today released a new letter of support for his initiative toestablish new reporting requirements for money that drug and device makers give todoctors in consulting and speaking fees, as well as money spent on meals andentertainment. The endorsement of Medtronic, Inc. is posted with this memo at

Last September, Senator Grassley and Senator Herb Kohl introduced legislationto require this kind of disclosure. A version of their legislation – the Physician PaymentSunshine Act (S.2029) -- is being considered for inclusion in a larger Medicare bill undernegotiation by Senator Grassley, Chairman Max Baucus and other members of the SenateCommittee on Finance. Senator Grassley said that S.2029 has been modified with inputfrom stakeholders and to make it possible for system-wide reform to be passed this year.Here is a comment from Senator Grassley about the newly expressed support forthe disclosure initiative by Medtronic, Inc.

"I appreciate the growing support for this initiative. Disclosure is good foreveryone and, most of all, it’s good for consumers. Transparency can help build trustbecause it fosters accountability. Reporting payments will empower consumers withinformation, and informed consumers will improve the health care system. This initiativedoesn’t mean anything has to change, and if there’s nothing to hide, there’s no reason toworry. Medtronic is an industry leader, and the company’s leadership for reform in thisarea is an important development in the debate.”