Sunshine Act: Shedding Light on Inaccurate Disclosures at a Gynecologic Annual Meeting. Academic Article uri icon


  • Physicians and hospital systems often have relationships with biomedical manufacturers to develop new ideas, products, and further education. Because this relationship can influence medical research and practice, reporting disclosures is necessary to reveal any potential bias and inform consumers. The Sunshine Act was created to develop a new reporting system of these financial relationships called the Open Payments database. Currently, all disclosures submitted with research to scientific meetings are at the discretion of the physician. We hypothesized that financial relationships between authors and medical industry are underreported.We aimed to describe concordance between physicians' financial disclosures listed in the abstract book from the 41(st) Annual Society of Gynecologic Surgeons' (SGS) Scientific Meeting to physician payments reported to the Center for Medicaid and Medicare Services' (CMS) Open Payments database for the same year.Authors and scientific committee members responsible for the content of the 41(st) SGS Scientific Meeting were identified from the published abstract book; each abstract listed disclosures for each author. Abstract disclosures were compared to transactions recorded on the CMS Open Payments database for concordance. Two authors reviewed each non-disclosed CMS listing to determine relatedness between the company listed on CMS and abstract content.Abstracts and disclosures of 335 physicians meeting inclusion criteria were reviewed. 209/335 (62%) physicians had transactions reported in CMS which totaled $1.99 million. 24/335 (7%) physicians listed companies with their abstracts; 5 of those 24 physicians were concordant with CMS. The total amount of all non-disclosed transactions was $1.3 million. Transactions reported in CMS associated with a single physician ranged from $11.72 to $405,903.36. Of the 209 physicians with CMS transactions that were not disclosed, the majority (68%) had at least one company listed in CMS that was determined after review to be related to the subject of their abstract.Voluntary disclosure of financial relationships was poor, and the majority of unlisted disclosures in the abstract book were companies related to the scientific content of the abstract. Better transparency is needed by physicians responsible for the content presented at gynecologic scientific meetings.Copyright © 2016. Published by Elsevier Inc.

publication date

  • June 2016