NJ Governor Christie Calls for $10k per Year Cap, Restrictions on Pharma Gifts to Physicians

Sept. 6, 2017 – In a first-of-its-kind move, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has issued a regulation capping physician incomes by limiting gifts from pharmaceutical companies to $10,000 per year and prohibiting gifts of entertainment and lavish meals, according to an article published today in Policy and Medicine. The article notes that although several other states, such as Massachusetts, Maine, Minnesota and Vermont have moved to curtail pharma gifts to physicians, the New Jersey rule is the first to cap physician incomes and apply the regulations directly to the physicians, not pharma companies.

The article quotes a statement from Christie on the matter: “While the vast majority of doctors care for their patients honorably and professionally, their education about many of the drugs they are prescribing comes too often from pharmaceutical sales people, who may not always provide an objective analysis of the human and social impacts the drugs may have. This rule will help us address any concerns about whether treatment decisions of prescribers are being improperly influenced.”

It is worth noting that the Christie regulation is a proposal and has not yet been introduced in the New Jersey legislature. A public hearing in Newark on the proposal is scheduled for Oct. 19.

“Governor Christie’s proposal goes well beyond existing Sunshine provisions and would greatly inhibit medicine companies from providing the best and most up-to-date information to practicing physicians,” according to Coalition for Healthcare Communication Executive Director John Kamp. “The Coalition will attend the October hearing on this proposal and strongly defend the First Amendment right of companies to collaborate with physicians in drug education.”

To read the full Policy and Medicine article, go to: http://www.policymed.com/2017/09/christie-introduces-regulation-to-cap-physician-pharma-relationships.html