Calif. Senate advances bill banning drug company gifts to physicians

The California Senate on Thursday passed a bill that would prohibit drugmakers from giving physicians gifts, reports San Antonio Express-News.

The bill, sponsored by Sen. Mike McGuire, D-xx, would bar drug companies "from providing flights, travel, speaking fees, consulting payments, entertainment or other economic benefits to healthcare providers," according to a news release on Mr. McGuire's website.

Drugmakers spend more than $1.4 billion annually on these perks for California clinicians, according to Mr. McGuire. He believes the bill would help lower drug costs, since physicians who receive the gifts are more likely to prescribe the expensive brand name drugs, reports San Antonio Express-News.

The Senate advanced the bill, which is modeled after a similar Vermont law enacted in 2009, to the state Assembly, according to the report.

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