(Glastonbury, Conn.): The New Mexico State Senate recently defeated a bill which would have required the public reporting of incentives paid to health care professionals for participation in marketing research studies sponsored by pharmaceutical, medical device or medical supply manufacturers. After MRA reached out to legislators, the legislation, S.B. 99, was defeated on the floor of the state Senate by a vote of 24 – 16.
Research incentives to doctors have been (usually inadvertently) caught up in ongoing attempts at the state level to restrict “gifts” to physicians from pharmaceutical, medical device and medical supply manufacturers. Such “gifts” are assumed to be buying influence on behalf of the manufacturers.
LaToya Lang, MRA’s State Legislative Director, commented, “the only influence sought through these kinds of marketing research incentives is to influence a difficult to reach but highly important audience of respondents to participate in research. We applaud the efforts of the State Senate to protect this vital form of research.”
S.B. 99 would have required survey and opinion researchers to publicly report (via the sponsoring pharmaceutical, medical device or medical supply manufacturer) the amount that they expend on physician incentives above $25.00. The bill did not specify whether the release of physician-identifiable information would have been required, but the implications of reporting would still have been detrimental to survey and opinion research. Simple state requirements for aggregate reporting have already driven pharmaceutical companies away from doing almost any research with doctors in affected states, for fear of public scorn or worse.
According to Lang, “MRA will continue to aggressively confront legislation like S.B. 99 across the country that threatens the viability of marketing research.”
Based in Washington, DC, Howard is the Insights Association's lobbyist for the marketing research and data analytics industry, focusing primarily on consumer privacy and data security, the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), tort reform, and the funding and integrity of the decennial Census and the American Community Survey (ACS).
Howard has more than two decades of public policy experience. Before the Insights Association, he worked in Congress as senior legislative staffer for then-Representatives Christopher Cox (CA-48) and Cliff Stearns (FL-06). He also served more than four years with a science policy think tank, working to improve the understanding of scientific and social research and methodology among journalists and policymakers.
Howard is also co-director of The Census Project, a 900+ member coalition in support of a fair and accurate Census and ACS.
He has also served previously on the Board of Directors for the National Institute for Lobbying and Ethics and and the Association of Government Relations Professionals.
Howard has an MA International Relations from the University of Essex in England and a BA Honors Political Studies from Trent University in Canada, and has obtained the Certified Association Executive (CAE), Professional Lobbying Certificate (PLC) and the Public Policy Certificate (PPC).
When not running advocacy for the Insights Association, Howard enjoys hockey, NFL football, sci-fi and horror movies, playing with his dog, and spending time with family and friends.