MSNJ responds to NJ Attorney General’s report on Physician Compensation Arrangements with Industry

MSNJ’s President-elect, Donald J. Cinotti, MD issued the following statement on the report and proposed recommendations.  To view the full report and recommendations click here.

“Yesterday, the NJ Department of Law and Public Safety released a report on physician compensation arrangements with the pharmaceutical and medical device industry. The government contends that financial arrangements among physicians and industry ‘threaten to bias medical decision making and compromise patient health.’  Physicians understand the potential conflicts of these relationships and are bound by the Code of Medical Ethics of the American Medical Association that governs the profession’s interaction with these industries.

While the state’s concern about industry influence is laudable, they picked the wrong industry and the wrong approach.

First, medical decision making is influenced predominately by health insurance companies through restricted drug formularies and pharmacy benefit managers. The state offers no recommendations to resolve this conflict of interest. 

We believe physicians should make medical decisions free of influence by any party outside the physician-patient relationship. Physicians have no interest in prescribing a medication that is not covered by the patient’s insurance plan. Physicians are acutely aware that a prescription not filled by the patient is of no therapeutic benefit. 

Second, the state’s physicians are highly disappointed with the recommendations in this report.  The state chooses to regulate 33,000 physicians rather than go after a few large companies.  New Jersey is the only state in the nation that chooses to regulate tens of thousands of individuals and allow large companies to escape scrutiny.”

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About MSNJ

Founded in 1766, the Medical Society of New Jersey is the oldest professional society in the United States. The organization and its dues-paying members are dedicated to a healthy New Jersey, working to ensure the sanctity of the physician–patient relationship. In representing all medical disciplines, MSNJ advocates for the rights of patients and physicians alike, for the delivery of the highest quality medical care. This allows response to the patients’ individual, varied needs, in an ethical and compassionate environment, in order to create a healthy Garden State and healthy citizens.

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