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Minnesota mulls expansion of medical disclosure rules


MINNEAPOLIS Minnesota lawmakers are considering new legislation to strengthen the rules on disclosure of gifts and payments to doctors by drug companies. If passed, the bill could make the state the first in the nation to also require medical device makers to reveal gifts and compensation to the physician community, according to the state’s largest newspaper.

The Minneapolis Star Tribune reports a growing movement in the state legislature to toughen 15-year-old disclosure requirements to include medical device manufacturers. A hearing is set for today before the Committee on Health, Housing and Family Security to discuss the proposal.

In recent years, some states have responded to growing alarm over influence peddling by drug makers with stiffer rules and penalties regarding gifts and other rewards to doctors who dispense their products. The U.S. Congress is also considering legislation that would pre-empt state laws regarding gift giving by the pharmaceutical industry.

A move in Minnesota to include medical device makers in disclosure requirements would expand that oversight, although some device makers reportedly favor federal transparency regulations over a patchwork of state rules.

The bill under consideration in Minnesota would ban most gifts to doctors, and also require that financial arrangements between suppliers and doctors be disclosed to patients, according to the Star Tribune.

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