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The move for public disclosure of gifts to doctors, medical schools, and hospitals from drug companies and medical device manufacturers is spreading across the country. The Institute of Medicine has just released a report that calls for medical schools and health care providers to "end a number of long-accepted relationships and practices that create conflicts of interest, threaten the integrity of their missions and their reputations, and put public trust in jeopardy."

Not long after a physicians advocacy group pressed for eliminating a loophole in Vermont’s disclosure law on gifts to doctors, this report calls on Congress to pass legislation that would require drug and device markers to publicly disclose all payments made to health care providers. Such legislation has bi-partisan support from Senator Charles E. Grassley (R-IA) and Senator Herb Kohl (D-WI).

In an era when drug companies spend more money buying the interest of doctors than they do on research and consumer advertising, these laws are critical to ensuring consumer and patient safety.

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