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Senate Co-Sponsorship Memoranda

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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session


Posted: July 25, 2017 02:57 PM
From: Senator Lawrence M. Farnese, Jr.
To: All Senate members
Subject: Prescriber Gift Ban
In the near future, I plan to introduce legislation to curb the ongoing opioid epidemic by banning gifts from drug manufacturers to prescribers.

My legislation is modeled after Minnesota’s gift ban statute and is part of a series of Senate Democratic bills aimed at controlling the abuse of opioids in the commonwealth. Specifically, my legislation would prohibit drug manufacturers and distributors from giving gifts to prescribers, including physicians. A violation of this section would be charged as a first-degree misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year in prison or $5,000 per violation, or both.

This legislation would provide reasonable exceptions, including continuing to allow visits that are meant to educate prescribers about the efficacy and safety of new drugs.

I believe that prescribing medication and treatment should be based on the needs of the patient and outside relationships should not influence that decision. It has been documented that relationships between drug manufacturers and prescribers can have subconscious effects on prescribing choices and can diminish confidence and respect in prescribers, and even lead to negative patient outcomes.

For these reasons, I hope that you will join me in co-sponsoring this important piece of legislation.

Introduced as SB845