Michigan, Pennsylvania may ban drugmakers from giving gifts to physicians

State representatives in Michigan and Pennsylvania have introduced bills that would prohibit drugmakers from giving gifts to physicians.

Pennsylvania state Rep. Michael Zabel, D-Drexel Hill, introduced a bill June 29 that would ban drugmakers from giving gifts to physicians that exceed a $50 value. Mr. Zabel's bill was devised to combat drugmakers' efforts to persuade physicians to prescribe addictive opioids, as opioid-related overdoses continue to significantly affect Pennsylvania communities.

On July 21, Michigan state Rep. Douglas Wozniak, R-Shelby Township, sponsored a bill calling for a ban on any gifts drugmakers give to physicians that exceed $63 in value. The aim of this bill is to reduce prescription drug costs by making it more difficult for drugmakers to provide physicians with incentives to prescribe their medicines.

"Prohibiting drug manufacturers from giving out exorbitant incentives to practitioners for using or prescribing their drugs will force prescribers to use the drugs that are actually best for their patients," Mr. Wozniak said in a news release. "This will also prevent prescribers from being influenced by drug manufacturers that give a large gift."

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