Maryland Delegate Nic Kipke (R-31) withdrew H.B. 818, which would have banned most payments from pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturers to health care professionals, likely including incentives for participation in marketing research.

MRA Action
MRA testified on this bill on March 3 at a hearing of the House Healthcare and Government Operations Committee in Annapolis.

After extensive discussions with MRA, Delegate Kipke had agreed to amend H.B. 818 to exclude, “Payments to health care professionals for participation in bona fide marketing research conducted by a third party, where such payments are made by that third party and the sponsoring manufacturer is unaware of the identify of the participating health care professionals.”

The amendment would have defined “bona fide marketing research” to mean “the collection and analysis of data regarding opinions, needs, awareness, knowledge, views and behaviors of a population, through the administration of surveys, interviews, focus groups, polls, observation, or other research methodologies, in which no sales, promotional or marketing efforts are involved and through which there is no attempt to influence a participant’s attitudes or behavior.”

Conclusion
Since this amendment would have protected incentives for research with health care professionals, MRA supported H.B. 818 as amended. We will continue to work with Delegate Kipke should he return to working on this sort of legislation in the future.