New Jersey Attorney General Anne Milgram released a report on physician compensation arrangements that includes recommendations for new regulations aimed at curtailing medical providers’ conflicts of interest. “The proposed regulations … are designed to ensure that patient care is guided by the unbiased exercise of doctors’ best judgment,” said Milgram in a statement. “It is critical to minimize the potential for conflicts, and it is crucial that patients are made aware of any financial relationship between a physician and a pharmaceutical company or medical device manufacturer.” The report, written by the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs, recommends banning doctors and other clinicians from accepting gifts and food or payments or subsidies of travel by medical-products companies to industry-sponsored continuing medical education events. The report also recommends requiring doctors to disclose every two years any consulting relationships with drug or devicemaker companies that provide more than $200 in annual compensation. In addition, doctors would be allowed to block pharmacists from selling their prescribing information to drug companies and pharmacists would be required to keep records of which doctors consented to having their information sold. The report and its recommendations have been sent to the state’s Board of Medical Examiners and Board of Pharmacy for review. Milgram has asked the two groups to start a rulemaking process that would adopt many of the proposed regulations.
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