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States pile on rules; industry wishes for consistency
Cegedim Dendrite (Bedminster, NJ) is one of several firms now offering a service that tracks the proliferation of state-level rules on reporting gifts, sponsorships or other marketing activities that occur between manufacturers and healthcare providers. A chart from Cegedim Dendrite’s reporting service shows the growing complexity of this activity (see also Pharmaceutical Commerce, Jan/Feb).
The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers Assn (PhRMA; Washington, DC) sought to forestall state activities like these with its voluntary marketing guidelines, the “Code on Interactions with Health Care Professionals.” For signatories to that code, the use of non-educational items like pens and coffee cups is now prohibited. As of February, according to PhRMA, 40 companies (including some non-PhRMA members) have signed the code—but it is not obligatory among even PhRMA members. Around then, the Biotechnology Industry Assn. (BIO, Washington, DC) adopted a similar measure.
Obviously, the industry codes have not satisfied state legislators who are writing more rules. Some states require item-by-item reporting, and some only want cumulative spending; some include medical devices and some do not. The expense of managing the various programs and their reporting requirements is represents another burden on the industry that Cegedim Dendrite and others are trying to address.