NY bill would require pharmas to report MD gifts

Momentum seems to be building for a New York state bill which would require drug makers to report when they give doctors gifts valued at over $75. This week, a wide range of physician and consumer groups expressed support for the measure, including the AARP, National Physicians Alliance, Center for Medical Consumers and Consumer Reports publisher Consumers Union. The bill targets the $7 billion per year pharmas spend in physician gifts, which includes everything from meals, trips and entertainment to the ubiquitous pens and Post-It pads. This is a second go-round for the bill, which passed the state Assembly last year but faltered in the state Senate. The pharmaceutical industry hopes to short-circuit the bill, of course, as such incentives are among its most commonly-used marketing tools. However, even if the pharmas manage to kill this bill, they're probably going to have to play Whack-A-Mole with similar bills in other state legislatures, as the notion of limiting drug maker gifts is gaining popular support.

To get more background on the bill:
- read this United Press International article
- read the AARP press release

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