(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.