NLARx

January 2008

Washington, DC

State legislators attending the Legislators' Roundtable outlined their priorities for 2008. Rep. Betsy Ritter noted possible 340B expansions and e-prescribing on the agenda when the Connecticut legislature convenes in February. Delegate Don Perdue and Senator Dan Foster of West Virginia reported on progress implementing a central fill pharmacy for industry patient assistance programs, as well as legislation on gift disclsosure and datamining. D.C. Council Member David Catania reported on the recently enacted groundbreaking "SafeRx Act" and the first-ever licensing of drug reps, as well as a ban on gifts to P&T committees. Rep. Sharon Treat mentioned possible 340B initiatives in Maine, and Vermont Senator Kevin Mullin outlined an agenda of initiatives including 340B for corrections, fine-tuning the recently enacted datamining law, and patent reform addressed at pharma research in the state. A gift disclosure bill is pending in New Hampshire,with a hearing February 14, according to Rep. Cindy Rosenwald, who continues to lead efforts to plug privacy holes in electronic medical record initiatives.

Richard Cauchi, Health Program Director at the National Conference of State Legislatures, presented an overview of pharmaceutical legislation pending in each of the states. Dr. Peter Lurie of Public Citizen?s Health Research Group compared laws that ban gifts to doctors and require disclosure of payments and outlined the most effective strategies. Peter Wyckoff of the Prescription Project described Minnesota's experience with its first-in-the-nation gift ban and proposals to tighten up the law and improve public access to data collected. Allan Coukell of the Prescription Project, James Love, from the Knowledge Ecology Project and Peter Riggs from the Forum on Democracy and Trade provided updates on pending federal prescription drug legislation and trade agreements. Dr. David Michaels from the George Washington University School of Health discussed the ways in which pharmaceutical companies manipulate scientific data to advance their interest over that of the public.

Presentations

Prescription Project Panel at Families USA Meeting: 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm

Savings, Safety, and Solutions: Pharma?s Undue Influence on Prescribing Decisions. A distinguished panel presented on how financial conflicts of interest in the medical profession and pharmaceutical marketing affect practitioners, patients, and the cost of care. Participants discussed effective policies and strategies that can be implemented at the state and national level to ameliorate these conflicts and promote evidence-based prescribing.

  • Marcia Hams, Assistant Director of the Prescription Project, will moderate and discuss policy issues and the connections between state policy work and voluntary change in the medical community.
  • Sharon Treat, Maine State Representative and Executive Director of the National Legislative Association on Prescription Drug Prices. Savings, Safety, and Solutions: Pharma's Undue Influence on Prescribing Decisions How States Are Addressing Pharma's Influence on Medical Decisions, Public Health and the Medicaid Budget (MS Word). For accompanying PowerPoint slides, click here.
  • Jeff Huebner, MD, a family physician at a community health center in Seattle, Washington, will discuss his experience working on Washington's Coalition for Prescribing Integrity, a broad-based initiative seeking to address conflicts of interest in medicine and curb prescription data mining and limit drug company gifts to prescribers. He began his advocacy work with Families USA in Washington, DC before going to medical school. After graduation from the Medical College of Wisconsin he was Rutledge Fellow for universal health care with the American Medical Student Association. He currently serves on the Boards of Directors for the Universal Health Care Action Network and Washington Academy of Family Physicians and is an active founding leader of the National Physicians Alliance. Case Study: Washington State Coalition for Prescribing Integrity.
  • Michelle Spetman of the Harvard-based Independent Drug Information Service will introduce "academic detailing," an unbiased alternative to the practice of drug representative detailing to physicians in the office. She will discuss Pennsylvania's PACE program and emerging academic detailing programs

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