Drug Company Gifts To Doctors Should Be Disclosed And Limited, Ct AG Urges

Conn Attorney General Richard Blumenthal today urged legislation requiring strict limitations and strong disclosure of pharmaceutical drug company gifts to doctors that may improperly influence health care decisions. (Press release which CtWatchdog totally agrees with)

Blumenthal — who has handled several major investigations and settlements involving drug company influence over doctors — testified on the legislation today with Connecticut Center for Patient Safety Executive Director Jean Rexford and others familiar with drug company sales policies.

Pharmaceutical drug companies spend billions of dollars — some estimates include $23 billion annually of which $7 billion is spend on „direct-to-physicians‟ marketing — to market prescription drugs.

“This proposal recognizes that health care providers and pharmaceutical companies should interact and exchange ideas and experiences — but in the sunshine of transparency and disclosure,” Blumenthal said. “Addicted to profits, pharmaceutical drug companies focus relentlessly on practitioners, seeking enhanced sales and profits.

“While certain pharmaceutical drug companies may be taking steps toward self-reform, we cannot rely solely on such efforts to break an industry attraction — some might say addiction — to such practices. A state law readily enforceable by our state agencies would protect the physician-patient relationship from drug company influence.

Rexford said, “This bill provides simple solutions that will help the health care consumer. Transparency and accountability are key components of this legislation.”

Specifically, the legislation would include:

ï‚· requirements that pharmaceutical and medical device companies adopt a code of conduct — and training and monitoring to ensure compliance with the code;

Contact: Tara Downes or Christopher Hoffman 860-808-5324

ï‚· Annually report all authorized payments or other economic benefits provided to health care providers that are individually in excess of $50; and

ï‚· Prohibitions against direct payments or other compensation by pharmaceutical companies to health care providers, unless in exchange for a bona fide service.

The legislation prohibits most of the egregious gifts and forms of compensation while allowing drug and medical device representatives to provide: (a) reasonable compensation to health care providers for services; (b) peer-reviewed academic, scientific and clinical journals; (c) medical device demonstration and evaluation units; (d) rebates or discounts; and (e) modest food and beverage when associated with an office visit regarding the provision of product information.

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5 Comments on "Drug Company Gifts To Doctors Should Be Disclosed And Limited, Ct AG Urges"

  1. I just stayed in a wonderful water front property in Bocas Del Toro called Tropical Suites and I must say it was the nicest hotel on the whole island. Definately worth another visit if I can save up for another vacation.

  2. George Gombossy | March 1, 2010 at 2:18 pm |

    What I love is when you are in the waiting room – the doc is double or triple booked – very busy, but then some long-legged drug saleswoman comes in, carrying a load of food and free samples, and all the sudden everyone has time for her.

  3. Yeah- I hate seeing the well dressed sales people come in while I’m hanging in the waiting room. Many offices now have a “back door/after hours” policy posted. Do I have the right to ask who they are solicit by or who they invest in? I’ve always wanted to know.

  4. Is anyone else SICK of drug ads on TV and in newsprint…who do you thingk pays for these ads?? Have you paid full price for a prescription lately …now you’ll see who pays for these ads.. I think I’d rather a cigarette or beer commertial s then those stupid drug adds at least I know there bad for me…somewhere there’s a pill to cure everything !!! UNFORTUALLY YOU CAN’T CURE STUPID!

  5. Dear George, Dick Blumenthal is a day late and a dollar short on this one. I am in the drug industry and the doctors receive no gifts from us. This was a result of the Pharma code put in place over a year ago. My salespeople will get fired if they give any gift, pure and simple it is against the policy of all drug companies. No pens, no sticky notes, no pads, no coffee cups or any other trinkets are allowed period. I do not have any long legged women working for me, they are proper and dress very conservatively.

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