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AARP Statement on Governor's Bill for Prescription Drug Marketing Reform and Transparency
Date:5/15/2008

AARP commends Governor Paterson's leadership in proposing prescription drug marketing reform and transparency

ALBANY, N.Y., May 15 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- AARP strongly believes New York has a paramount interest in passing the Governor's prescription marketing reform proposals which address the undue influence that pharmaceutical companies have over prescribing decisions that affect not only consumers' pocket books but the treatment they receive.

The reforms include banning gifts of over $50 (excluding free samples) to doctors and requiring speakers at continuing medical education programs for health professionals to disclose any financial relationships they might have with a drug company.

AARP strongly supports provisions in the proposed legislation to make the business transactions of pharmaceutical benefit managers (PBMs) more transparent in order to drive down the cost of prescription drugs.

We strongly encourage the New York State Legislature to pass this legislation that would help so many New Yorkers before the end of the legislative session. The pharmaceutical industry should not dictate prescription drug policy in our State. The Legislature must reject the opposition from the drug industry and do the right thing for their constituents.

The Governor's bill will increase a New Yorker's ability to access affordable prescription drugs and improve the quality of their healthcare. In addition, this legislation would help all taxpayers who fund public prescription drug programs, such as Medicaid and EPIC.

According to a January 2006 article in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), titled "Health Industry Practices That Create Conflicts of Interest," approximately 90% of the $21 billion pharmaceutical industry marketing budget continues to be directed at physicians.

When a drug company sales representative walks into a doctor's office armed with gifts and promotes a drug company's newest,
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SOURCE AARP New York
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