Vermont Acts to Make Drug Makers' Gifts Public
Legislators in Vermont just passed a bill that would make it illegal for pharmaceutical companies to give “meals, gifts, and other relationships” to doctors in exchange for brand loyalty. An article in the New York Times states, “the new law would let Vermonters learn each year which doctors have been paid, and how much, by the makers of brand-name drugs from which they wrote prescriptions.”
Meant to discourage the influence of marketing efforts on doctors, the bill asserts, that the company’s drug is used more often than a competitor’s even when evidence indicates that another drug would be more beneficial, less expensive and safer.
The top 100 recipients received on average $17,700 each but that only counted 17% of the gifts because the other 83% was hidden from public view by a trade secret exemption in state law. Some doctors received over $100,000 dollars in gifts. How could that not influence their practice?
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