Lawyers fear Democrats' surge to the White House

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Food and drug lawyers at a Washington media briefing in January contended that with Democrats controlling Congress and potentially taking the White House this year, drug companies' worst fears about federal and state legislation regulating drug promotion will become reality. They spoke at Washington Legal Foundation session titled Health Product Promotion: Will New Rules, Greater Disclosure Chill Education and Free Speech?

All three speakers expressed concern that too much attention and resources are being devoted to regulating drug promotion when there is little evidence that prescribers are improperly influenced by promo activities. Marc Scheineson (Alston & Bird) said the perceived high cost of drugs is responsible for much of the attack on drug promotion. “No direct connection has been found between marketing costs and drug costs,” he declared. “If drug companies voluntarily lowered drug prices, all this interest in promotion would disappear.”

Scheineson said the industry is one of the most heavily regulated industries. He said evidence is lacking that docs prescribe drugs based on their relationships with drug companies. 
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