The ranking Republican on the US Senate Committee on Finance, Sen Charles E Grassley of Iowa, has sent letters to 33 medical societies, allied-health professional groups, and patient-centered organizations asking for details on any industry funding they and their leadership have received since January 2006, according to a press release issued by the senator’s office . He’s interested in any financial backing they may have received from the pharmaceutical, medical device, and insurance industries.
The letter, which gives a December 21 deadline, is only the latest chapter in Grassley’s ongoing exploration of possible relationships between companies and medical groups and even some individual physicians.
“These organizations have a lot of influence over public policy, and people rely on their leadership. There’s a strong case for disclosure and the accountability that results,” Grassley said in the press release.
Organizations receiving the letter, it notes, include the American Heart Association, the American Society of Hypertension, the Heart Rhythm Society, and the American Diabetes Association, along with the American Medical Association and American Academy of Family Physicians. The American College of Cardiology isn’t on the published list.
The letter asks, among other things, for the organization to “explain what policies, if any, [it] plans to adopt to ensure transparency of funding in order to provide a greater public trust in the independence of your organization.”
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