Thursday, April 16, 2009

No More Free Lunches For Doctors?

Connecticut doctors would be prohibited from accepting certain gifts from drug and medical device companies under a plan being considered by lawmakers.

The measure is drawing criticism from the pharmaceutical industry, which contends it would stifle the use of new medications while doing little to ensure the industry is exerting undue influence on doctors’ decisions regarding which drugs they prescribe.

Patterned after an even stricter law passed a month ago in Massachusetts, the plan would ban industry representatives from buying meals for doctors and require them to report to the Department of Public Health any gifts worth more than $1,000.

The Massachusetts law now requires public disclosure of payments greater than $50 to doctors. Meanwhile, Vermont is also weighing tougher rules on gifts and compensation to health care providers.

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