Senators Request Information on Pharmaceutical Company Grants That Might Have Influenced Medicare and Medicaid Prescriptions
Senate Finance Committee Chair Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and ranking member Max Baucus (D-Mont.) on Thursday sent to 18 pharmaceutical companies letters that requested information about grants awarded to state officials and other organizations that might have influenced prescription drug purchases by Medicare and Medicaid, the New York Times reports. The senators said that they sent the letters to ensure that the grants are used for allowable educational purposes and not to influence prescription drug purchases.
Grassley said, "We need to know how this behind-the-scenes funneling of money is influencing decision makers. The decisions result in the government spending billions of dollars on drugs. The tactics look aggressive, and the response on behalf of the public needs to be just as vigorous." Baucus added that he was "concerned that some grants might be for purposes other than education" (Harris, New York Times, 6/10).