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Assembly on the Move for Rx Reform
Date:5/29/2008

Proposed Legislation Would Ban Drug Company Gifts of over $50 to Doctors

ALBANY, N.Y., May 29 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Yesterday the New York State Assembly Health Committee reported key legislation (see vote count below) to reform how prescription drugs are marketed and sold in New York State. Governor Paterson's bill, A.11187, sponsored by Assemblyman Richard Gottfried (D-Manhattan), includes a ban on gifts of over $50 to doctors and requires doctors who speak at medical education programs to disclose any financial relationships they have with drug companies.

"AARP strongly believes that science and research should be the guide to prescribing the most effective prescription drugs, not sales pitches and gifts from manufacturers to physicians," stated Lois Aronstein, AARP New York State Director. "Drugs should not be prescribed based on the fact they are new and highly promoted, but rather on their effectiveness in treating a disease."

According to the Journal of the American Medical Association, approximately 90% of the $21 billion marketing budget of the pharmaceutical industry continues to be directed at physicians. In addition, an April 2007 article in the New England Journal of Medicine revealed that 94% of the physicians surveyed reported having a relationship with pharmaceutical sales representatives and close to 30% of those surveyed received payments from drug companies for consulting and lectures.

Governor Paterson's bill would prohibit a drug manufacturer from giving payments to a health care provider that exceed $50 in aggregate value each calendar year. Exceptions are made for certain payments that may benefit patients, such as drug samples. Other exceptions are made for payments made to prescribers and doctors-in-training for the purpose of participating in legitimate educational, research or clinical activities.

The bill would also prohibit the presentation of false or misleading information at con
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SOURCE AARP New York
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