The Vermont legislature is at odds over whether drugmakers should report the free samples that are distributed to doctors, although their names would not be disclosed. The requirement is part of a health care reform bill (look here) that was passed by the House and was debated last night by the state Senate, which by a vote of 18 to 10 rejected the notion.
The proposal was initiated over concerns there is a correlation between sampling and prescribing, but some senators, such as Rutland's Kevin Mullin, argued the proposal would have a chilling effect on the use of free samples. "It really sends the wrong message to our medical profession it's saying that we don't trust you we are big brother and we're going to tell you what you can or cannot receive," he tells VPR News.
Vermont has been in the vanguard of states pushing for more disclosure by the pharmaceutical industry. Last year, a new law went into effect that requires reports on the amount of money directed to doctors and hospitals. You can read the latest results here. But what do you think?
Should drugmakers be required to report samples distributed?
- No (59%, 76 Votes)
- Yes (41%, 53 Votes)
Total Voters: 128