Nicole Yvonne Nguyen, Pharm.D., and Lisa Bero, Ph.D., of the University of California, San Francisco, published a new analysis of policy documents from Medicaid programs across the United States in the Feb. 11, 2013, JAMA Internal Medicine that indicates the potential for conflicts of interest of members of Medicaid drug selection committees are not transparent in most states in the United States.
The researchers obtained policy documents for 27 of the programs (56 percent) - 14 from websites and 13 by contacting Medicaid officials.
According to the results, the most common management strategy was disclosure of conflicts of interest in 67 percent of policies (18 of 27) and self-recusal in 52 percent of policies (14 of 27), while only 15 percent of policies (4 of 27) ban certain relationships with industry.
The researchers suggest a model policy should (1) be publicly accessible (2) be comprehensive and provide explicit parameters for disclosure (3) be equally applicable to all committee members (4) include management strategies beyond disclosure and (5) indicate a responsible party for review of conflicts of interest and enforcement of policies.
The adoption of such policies may be enlightened self interest for states that have opted out of Obamacare and for insurers that have been fingered as monopolies like Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama.