Monday, August 11, 2008

Governor Patrick Signs Gift Ban and Disclosure Bill

Governor Patrick stood up to intensive last minute lobbying by the pharmaceutical industry and signed a bill limiting gifts to doctors and requiring disclosure of most drug company payments to physicians. You can read coverage of this historic event here and here.

It was touch and go at the end there, as the drug industry did what they do best--pumping huge amounts of money into marketing campaigns. They bought a full page ad in the Boston Globe, and lobbied many Massachusetts legislators to write a letter to the Governor urging him to veto the bill. But in the end, people-power trumped misguided corporate interests. Reportedly, 7000 members of AARP (the American Association of Retired Persons) called the governor to urge him to sign the bill, and hundreds more sent emails.

I am proud to say that I represented the National Physician's Alliance in supporting the bill, in conjunction with Health Care for All and the Massachusetts Prescription Reform Coalition.

Kudos also to Senate President Therese Murray and Senator Mark Montigny, two of the driving forces behind passage of the bill.

And of course, congratulations to Governor Deval Patrick, who took a courageous and historic step. I knew he wouldn't disappoint us!

1 comment:

Iowa Doc said...

Perhaps the AARP could become a valuable ally in the battle to limit the influence of Pharma.