West Virginia eases drug ad-spend reporting rules

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West Virginia's Pharmaceutical Cost Management Council has approved a watered-down version of rules requiring companies to report Rx drug advertising and marketing costs.

Facing concerns that they risked going further than authorized by the state Pharmaceutical Availability and Affordability Act of 2004, council members took out many of the proposed disclosures, according to The Charleston Gazette. One of the items deleted was a spending disclosure requirement for drug company sales representatives.

Attorneys for PhRMA had said the council did not have authority to require such disclosures and acting state pharmaceutical advocate Shana Phares said she reluctantly agreed with that assessment, noting the law allows the council to “explore” licensing and regulation of sales reps, but that the financial disclosure section is specifically limited to costs of ads and doesn't cover physician marketing.

As drafted, the regulation calls on companies to provide a list of all drugs advertised to West Virginia consumers in the previous year, along with the total expenditure for the advertising. Disclosures for the 2006 calendar year would be due next April.

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