House legislators have received gifts to persuade them to oppose the gift ban. Really. They got lots of mugs, with notes inside them subtly asking…”Is it possible a mug, a pen, or a sticky-note pad could influence your vote? We doubt it….” But the New England Promotional Products Association very clearly wanted the House to vote its way, against the gift ban.
But the public agrees with the gift ban. According to A Healthy Blog:
86% of those surveyed believe free dinners (from pharmaceutical companies) should not be allowed
80% believe speaking fees should not be allowed
78% believe free lunches at the office should not be allowed
70% believe free note pads and pens should not be allowed
62% believe free attendance at mandatory continue medical education classes should not be allowed.
And the public thinks there are some other clear lines that should be drawn:
Disclosing payments to doctors from drug companies: 68 percent would support legislation requiring pharmaceutical companies to publicly disclose any gifts or payments given to physicians.
Academic detailing: 71 percent would support legislation that enables clinical experts to provide unbiased non-commercial information about drugs to physicians in their offices.
Clearly, the Pharma industry has some underhanded practices that need to be reformed, and the gift ban (S. 2660) is a good start at rebuilding the public’s trust with Pharma.
So what’s the latest word on whether the ban is passing the House?