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New California bill may keep drug companies from giving doctors gifts




Dr. Elizabeth Maziarka reads a blood pressure gauge during an examination of patient June Mendez at the Codman Square Health Center April 11, 2006 in Dorchester, Massachusetts.
Dr. Elizabeth Maziarka reads a blood pressure gauge during an examination of patient June Mendez at the Codman Square Health Center April 11, 2006 in Dorchester, Massachusetts.
Joe Raedle/Getty Images

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On Thursday, state Senate passed a bill banning drug company payments or gifts to California doctors.

The bill’s rationale is physicians who accept gifts are more likely to prescribe higher-cost, branded drugs rather than generics. Drug companies claim it’s important to get feedback from docs, and to have face-to-face conversations about new medications that help patients. That often involves meals or continuing education.

AirTalk debates SB-790.

Guests:

Emily Rusch, executive director of California Public Interest Research Group (CALPIRG), a consumer rights group in support of SB 790

Paul Howard, director of health policy and senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute