(Glastonbury, Conn.): MRA scored several recent victories in the ongoing fight against legislation to require public reporting of survey research incentives for health care practitioners or that ban them outright. MRA recently helped to convince legislators in Maryland and Rhode Island to withdraw their bills and helped to defeat legislation in Mississippi.
LaToya Lang, MRA’s State Legislative Director, commented that, “with more and more states attempting to restrict or publicly disclose research incentives for health care practitioners, MRA values every win we can get.”
After communication with MRA, the sponsors in Maryland of H. 1477 and S. 196 agreed to withdraw their legislation. S. 196 would have required public reporting of payments made to health care practitioners by pharmaceutical manufacturers and explicitly included survey research incentives. H. 1477 would have required public reporting of aggregate spending on pharmaceutical marketing, including payments to physicians for participation in survey research.
MRA advocacy in Mississippi helped convince legislators in the State House to defeat H.B. 811 in the Public Health and Human Services Committee and the Judiciary Committee. H.B. 811 was one of the most expansive bills MRA has seen, requiring public reporting for research incentives to any physician, nurse practitioner or their immediate family members that originated from pharmaceutical manufacturers.
Rhode Island’s H. 5645 and S. 707 would have banned gifts to health care practitioners from pharmaceutical companies, including survey research incentives of any dollar amount. Communication from MRA helped convince the bills’ sponsors to reconsider their approach and withdraw the legislation.
The successes in Maryland, Mississippi and Rhode Island follow MRA’s defeat of MRA’s defeat of S.B. 99 in New Mexico earlier this month.
Research incentives to doctors have been (often 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.
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.