HealthLeaders-InterStudy, the leading provider of managed care marketing intelligence, reports that Minnesota is continuing to closely monitor relationships between the pharmaceutical industry and prescribing physicians in the state. According to the latest Minnesota Health Plan Analysis, after a review of the state's physician disclosures was detailed in a recent Journal of American Medical Association report, state officials are taking a closer look at the enforcement of its disclosure law.
Minnesota's law prohibits pharmaceutical industry gifts of more than $50 in value to prescribers, and requires disclosure of any other payments-such as honoraria, expenses, consultancy payments, or payments for research activities. The law's purpose was to curb inappropriate relationships between prescribers and drug marketers, and was the first law of its kind in the country.
"Minnesota's situation comes against a national backdrop of closer scrutiny of prescriber-pharmaceutical relations," states Don Mooradian, HealthLeaders-InterStudy market analyst and author of the report.
According to drug manufacturers, accessibility to doctors for their drug representatives is becoming more difficult as group practices restrict the representatives' ability to be inside the office or turn them away all together. In addition, several states are considering stronger laws to prohibit pharmaceutical companies' use of data-mining to learn what specific doctors are prescribing for their patients. As a result, many pharmaceutical companies have increased direct-to-consumer mass media advertising to reach potential patients.
The Minnesota Board of Pharmacy, who is responsible for enforcement of the state disclosure law, has reviewed and modified how "gift" is defined, adopting a definition of gift from a section of state law that deals with gifts to elected officials, a limit of $5. The pharmacy board is phasing in enforcement of the new policy this year, and for the first time a more detailed and consolidated approach to analyzing physicians' disclosures.
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