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Stark proposes tax credit denial bill


Pharmaceutical Representative

Bill would limit gifts, allow sampling

Bill would limit gifts,allow sampling

Representative Pete Stark (D-CA) has introduced the "Save Money for Prescription Drug Research Act of 2000," a bill that would deny tax deductions for certain gifts provided to physicians by drug manufacturers. If passed, the bill would not apply to samples.

Stark accused the pharmaceutical industry of spending twice as much money on marketing and administration as it does on research and development and called gifts to doctors "bribes." "Rather than spending pharmaceutical dollars on these very questionable gifts, the industry should devote the billions of dollars on life-saving drugs," Stark said in an introductory speech.

The bill would apply to all gifts "provided directly or indirectly to or for the benefit of a physician, including gifts of meals, sponsored teachings, symposia and travel."

"The need for this bill is clear," Stark said. "Denying the pharmaceutical industry the ability to deduct expenditures for gifts (other than product samples) to physicians is a critical step in providing Americans with access to more life-saving drugs. This will discourage drug company gifts that have been shown to sway physician prescribing behavior and free up more pharmaceutical revenue for R&D. By redirecting drug company promotional expenditures to their R&D budgets, the American public would reap the benefit of increased medical breakthroughs." PR

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