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New legislation would limit gifts from drug companies to healthcare providers


New legislation in the statehouse would limit gifts between drug companies and healthcare providers.

Michigan lawmakers are trying to stem the flow of expensive gifts that might incentivize a doctor’s prescribing patterns.

A 2016 ProPublica studyfound that payments from drug companies do impact prescribing patterns. As payments to a prescriber increased they were more likely to prescribe brand-name medication.

Republican State Representative Doug Wozniak introduced the legislation. He said it would cap any gifts made to a healthcare provider at $63 dollars.

“There’s no other gratuities attached to that drug. The drug is going to stand on its own merits for each particular customer.”

Wozniak said the legislation won’t limit samples from drug companies. He said he expects companies will look for workarounds to his legislation.

“The companies themselves will begin to look at what they can do. That means oh you can take me golfing, you can take me on a trip. That’s not going to happen. We put controls on all of that too.”

The bill would allow “reasonable” compensation for speaking fees at a conference, or for a “modest meal” connected to an informational presentation.