Assembly Health Panel Considers Bill To Limit Sale of Rx Information
Today, the Assembly Committee on Health is scheduled to consider a bill (AB 2112) by Assembly member Bill Monning (D-Carmel) that would prohibit the sale of physicians' prescribing habits for marketing purposes, the Santa Cruz Sentinel reports.
The legislation, which is modeled after a New Hampshire law, aims to limit the availability of information that drugmakers often use to promote their products to physicians.
The law would not entirely ban the sale of physicians' prescribing information. Such data would continue to be available for research, law enforcement investigations or drug recall notifications.
However, the bill would impose a fine of $10,000 to $50,000 on those who violate the measure by selling the information for marketing purposes.
The California Medical Association, AARP California and other groups support the legislation because they say it would limit the ability of drug companies to influence physicians. Supporters also say the bill could reduce medical costs by making physicians less likely to prescribe expensive medications.
However, the bill has encountered opposition from pharmaceutical industry groups and data mining firms that gather and sell the information. Drug companies say the information helps them provide physicians with useful information quickly and directly (Bookwalter, Santa Cruz Sentinel, 4/13).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.