Vermont legislators have passed a strengthened financial disclosure bill that seeks greater transparency about payments medical products companies make to healthcare providers and other groups. The measure, which Gov. Jim Douglas is expected to sign, would be the most stringent public-disclosure requirement implemented by states so far. Massachusetts and Minnesota also have physician-payment disclosure laws.
The Vermont bill would broaden a ban prohibiting drugmakers, medical-device manufacturers and biotech companies from giving free food and other items to medical providers, according to a news release. It would also tighten loopholes in the states current requirements that medical-products companies disclose payments made to healthcare professionals and researchers.