Pharmaceutical Industry Shifts Focus Of Lobbying Efforts To State Level
Lobbyists for the pharmaceutical industry increasingly are targetingstate lawmakers as "drug makers find themselves on the defensive,facing tighter regulations and restrictions in many states," the Newark Star-Ledgerreports. Lawmakers in various states -- who "maintain they are actingto fill a vacuum left by Congress" -- have debated legislation thatwould reduce prescription drug prices; require drug makers to disclosespending on marketing, including gifts and payments to physicians; andrestrict the commercial use of physician prescription data, accordingto the Star-Ledger.
Other legislation introducedby state lawmakers would regulate drug industry sales representatives,require publication of all clinical trial data about drug safety andefficacy, and restrict advertising on electronic prescribing softwareused by physicians and pharmacists. West Virginia Delegate Don Perdue(D), chair of the state House of Delegates Health and Human Resources Committee,said, "Change has to happen in the states because nothing meaningful ishappening at the federal level, where the drug lobby is too strong."
However, Jan Faiks, vice president of government affairs and law for the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America,said that many state bills meant to regulate the drug industry are"unnecessary" and based on "misleading arguments." Faiks said thatsponsors of the bills often are critics of the health care system ingeneral and do not recognize that prescription drug spending accountsfor just 10% of total health care costs (Cohen, Newark Star-Ledger, 8/26).
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