Governor Howard Dean has signed into law an initiative that makes Vermont the first state in the nation to require pharmaceutical companies to disclose their marketing practices. The law will require the companies to report to the state any time they give something worth $25 dollars or more to a physician or nurse.
Advocates of the bill say that will help them to get a better handle on how the industry influences doctors’ prescribing habits. There are two other provisions of the law that Dean says will impose what he describes as market discipline on the industry. Those involve forcing the industry to negotiate its prices with large groups of individuals.