Vermont enacts tough rules on physician gifts from pharmas

Backed by the state's medical society, Vermont Gov. Jim Douglas (R) has signed a bill that gives the state some of the toughest controls in the country on financial relationships between doctors and industry. 

The bill imposes more restrictions on gifts from pharmaceutical and medical devicemaker firms to doctors, and demands more detailed financial disclosure of consulting and research contracts between the two parties.

The new law, whose text noted that drugmakers spent almost $2.94 million in the state wining and dining doctors last year, bans companies from paying for meals or travel expenses.

The law does allow, however, for free drug samples; distribution of peer-reviewed academic, scientific or clinical articles or journals serving a true educational function; or financial support for med students, residents and fellows to attend educational or policymaking get-togethers.

To learn more about this law:
- read this Modern Healthcare piece (reg. req.)

Related Articles:
Grassley investigates Pfizer's financial ties to Harvard Med School MDs
Study: Even small gifts influence doctors
MedPAC mulls financial relationship disclosure rules
NJ mulls pharma, devicemaker gift reporting

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