As a result of an unfortunate compromise between the Vermont House and Senate, S. 104 is on its way to final passage with a provision explicitly making marketing research incentives for health care providers illegal

As MRA explained the Vermont House's intention on April 22, the House amended S. 104 to eliminate the Senate's original provisions that would have legalized the payment of research incentives to physicians. The House seems to have made up its mind long before MRA testified on the bill before the House Health Care Committee.

The House provision of S. 104 includes the following provision:

(c) Except as described in subdivisions (a)(1)(B) and (C) of this section, no manufacturer or other entity on behalf of a manufacturer shall provide any fee, payment, subsidy, or other economic benefit to a health care provider in connection with the provider's participation in research.

The excepted areas are honoraria/payments for serving as faculty at certain kinds of conferences and seminars, and for a "bona fide clinical trial".

Thus, the Vermont House didn't just strike the originaly Senate provision legalizing marketing research, but took it one step further and eliminated the current legal vaguery. So, if S. 104 becomes law, marketing research with physicians would be explicitly illegal.

MRA will seek assistance from the Governor, but we do not expect him to veto S. 104.