Pharmaceutical companies spend nearly $30 billion a year to market their drugs and the majority of that money is spent on wooing doctors with free dinners,trips and drug samples for their patients.
Massachusetts currently has one of the strictest laws in the country regulating drug company gifts to doctors. The law includes a ban on buying doctors meals at restaurants, and a limit on gifts to no more than a $50 value. The drug companies are also required to disclose those gifts to the State Department of Public Health.
Earlier this week, the Massachusetts House voted to repeal much of that law, ending the ban on gifts to doctors.
James Miceli, a state representative from Wilmington, voted in support of the original ban on gifts to doctors in 2009 and voted against loosening the law when it came up last year. But this time Miceli voted to repeal the law. What changed?
- State Rep. James Miceli, representative from Wilmington
This segment aired on April 28, 2011.