Karcher Legislation Would Eliminate Potential Conflicts Of Interests By Physicians

Senator Ellen Karcher, D-Monmouth and Mercer, Vice Chair of the Senate Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee, listens to testimony before her panel.

Legislation sponsored by State Senator Ellen Karcher requiring physicians to disclose to patients money and gifts accepted from pharmaceutical companies would complement the Attorney General’s Advisory Task Force on Physician Compensation. The bill, S-2660, is currently in the Senate Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee.

“Pharmaceutical companies who attempt to influence physicians with lavish gifts are essentially participating in a form of pay-to-play,” said Karcher. “We need to ensure patients receive top quality and unbiased care from their physicians.”

S-2660 would require physicians who maintain medical practices in New Jersey to post in their offices an easy-to-understand notice disclosing any money or gifts valued over $25 accepted from pharmaceutical companies in the prior 12 months.

In addition, the disclosure would list those drugs manufactured by the pharmaceutical company from which money or gifts was accepted. A physician who violates the provisions would be subject to State Board of Medical Examiners disciplinary action and civil penalties.

“I applaud the Attorney General’s effort to combat this ongoing problem and offer any assistance I can provide,” said Karcher. “I will continue to urge the committee members and fellow colleagues in the Senate to support this necessary piece of legislation so we can protect patients from potentially dangerous conflicts of interest.”

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