• Incentives to Physicians
  • Privacy
    • Identity Theft
  • Sales
    • Spam

Current Legislation

Privacy
Identity Theft
Congress – The Senate passed H.R. 5938, a bill relating to Secret Service protection for former vice-presidents, after amending it to include the text of the “Identity Theft Enforcement and Restitution Act” (S. 2168) on July 31. The Act’s language would allow victims to recover the costs associated with resolving identity theft and combat cybercrimes. It now awaits action in the House and should have no negative impact on the research profession.

Incentives to Physicians
Congress - MRA is working with staff for Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) as he and Sen. Herb Kohl (D-WI) develop a new version of the Physician Payments Sunshine Act (S. 2029). As reported in May, S. 2029 would require manufacturers of drugs, biological products, medical devices or medical supplies that are reimbursable under Medicare or Medicaid to disclose annually to the public through a federal website, any incentives/honoraria to physicians for participation in market research studies, where the payment ultimately originated from one of these manufacturers. However, the draft bill being prepared by these Senators, in consultation with CMOR, should exempt market research incentives, as long as such incentives do not come directly from or are not in the name of one of these manufacturers. Most importantly, this draft bill would pre-empt related state laws (such as those in Vermont and Minnesota) currently discouraging market research with physicians. CMOR will continue to keep our membership up to date on this bill as we move forward.

Sales
Spam
CA - California Assembly Bill 2950, sponsored by Assemblyman Huffman (D), was passed into law. The new law clarifies the scope of the Business and Professions Code on e-mail marketing by defining the term “header information.” The law also makes it unlawful for an unsolicited commercial e-mail to contain or be accompanied by the e-mail address of third parties without their authorization. Under the law, ‘header information’ would be defined as the “source, destination, and routing information attached to an electronic mail message, including the originating domain name and originating electronic mail address, and any other information that appears in the line identifying, or purporting to identify, a person initiating the message.” The new provision will coincide with other commercial email provisions that prohibits the sending of unsolicited commercial e-mails from California or to a Californian address if there is a falsified, misrepresented or forged header information or a misleading subject line, or if the e-mail includes a third party domain name (but not an e-mail address) without permission. Survey research should not be impacted by this new law since it only applies to unsolicited commercial e-mail messages, and survey research is not inherently commercial in nature.