The senior Republican on the Senate Finance Committee has asked the American Medical Association and 32 other medical groups to disclose the financial backing they receive from drug and medical device manufacturers, as well as insurance companies.
Senator Charles Grassley, whose panel is central to legislation overhauling U.S. healthcare now before Congress, asked for information on the amount, source and purpose of industry funding from January 2006 to the present. 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 a statement.
The list included some of the largest and most influential medical groups, including: American Cancer Society, American Heart Association, American College of Surgeons, American Diabetes Association and American Hospital Association. The American Heart Association said it received about 2.2 percent of its $641.6 million in 2002-08 funds from pharmaceutical and device sources. On its website it listed contributions from over 50 companies.
Calls to the other organizations were not immediately returned.
Grassley also asked the organizations to disclose information on whether they allow donor companies to place restrictions on the use of their funding or guide how it will be spent. He also asked the groups to explain their policies for top executives and board members to disclose outside income.