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Bill Would Limit Gifts To Doctors From Drug Companies

StockMonkeys.com / Flickr

StockMonkeys.com / Flickr

In response to rising prescription costs, one California state senator is trying to limit the ability of drug companies to influence doctors.

His bill would place restrictions on gifts from the pharmaceutical industry.

Democratic State Senator Mike McGuire, who authored the bill, says he wants to limit drug companies’ ability to buy travel and meals for doctors.

He says companies are influencing doctors to prescribe their brand-name drugs, which are more expensive.

“What this bill is all about is focusing on lower costs of drugs here in California," McGuire says. "And I am saying that individuals are influenced by as little as a meal when it comes to prescribing name-brand drugs.”

But Republican Assemblyman Jim Patterson says McGuire is wrongly implying that doctors can be swayed by a steak dinner.

“I think it goes way too far in attacking essentially an educational kind of environment that most every business, most every occupation, most anybody and everybody, would be engaged in,” Patterson says.

The Senate passed the bill and it is now heading to the Assembly floor.

 prescription drugs

Sally Schilling

Reporter/Podcast Producer

Sally Schilling is a Davis native and a graduate of the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism. She has reported on redwood poachers robbing national forests in Humboldt County and the dangers of melting tropical glaciers in the Peruvian Andes.  Read Full Bio 

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