Legislation that would require device manufacturers to disclose payments to clinical investigators has stalled in the Senate Finance Committee. The Physician Payments Sunshine Act, introduced by Senators Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Herb Kohl (D-Wis.) early 2009, would require sponsors of clinical trials to disclose payments to researchers after the study begins.

Even if the bill goes nowhere, its call for transparency could be incorporated into other healthcare legislation, Jill Kozeny, a Grassley spokeswoman, said.

The legislation requires drug, device, and medical-supply manufacturers that receive payments through Medicare, Medicaid, or the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) to disclose to the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) any things of value they give to doctors. Items include payments, gifts, travel compensation, honoraria, and funding for continuing education and research.