Articles

24Jan

Research Profession Testifies Before Joint House & Senate Committee Hearing in Minnesota

(St. Paul, MN) The U.S. survey and research profession testified today before a joint hearing in the Minnesota House and Senate. The Marketing Research Association’s (MRA) Director of Government Affairs, Howard Fienberg, PLC, defended the use of physician incentives in pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturing.

“Thanks to a vaguely-crafted law and mis-guided interpretations, Minnesota is a dead zone for pharmaceutical marketing research with health care practitioners,” Howard testified. “The legislation being considered, H.F. 1641, would shift the regulatory authority and expand that dead zone to medical device research.”

The Minnesota House Commerce & Labor Committee and Senate Business, Jobs, & Industry Committee held a joint hearing January 25, 2010, on H.F. 1641 and two other pharmaceutical-related bills. Howard represented the research profession and its interests in testimony at the hearing, as part of his role as the industry’s U.S. lobbyist.

Pharmaceutical marketing research incentives have been prohibited in Minnesota. Even a change that would allow such payments to practitioners but require them to be publicly reported would not likely change the status quo for research. Pharmaceutical and medical device companies have stopped doing research in states with even the most rudimentary reporting requirements.

To date, the only exception has been Massachusetts, where MRA won an explicit exclusion for marketing research in regulations last year.

MRA also continues to lobby on the Physician Payments Sunshine Act at the federal level.

About the Author

Howard Fienberg

Howard Fienberg

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.

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