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Vermont continues to lead the way in creating greater transparency in the flow of money from drug and device makers to doctors. Coming roughly a month after a report revealed that the drug and device companies spend $2.9 Million in gifts to doctors, hospitals, and universities in Vermont, the Legislature in that state has passed the nation’s toughest state law to regulate the marketing of drugs and medical devices to doctors.

The new law requires these companies to disclose the amounts of money given and the names of the doctors to whom that money is given. This information would allow citizens and prospective patients to know whether their cardiologist receives extravagant gifts from the makers of stents and pacemakers, or whether their orthopaedic surgeon routinely takes free lunches and cash gifts from the makers of artificial knees. Such information helps patients judge for themselves the integrity of the profession, by making these gifts part of the public record. This law signals a nationwide effort to change the old ways of doing business with the drug industry and medical device industry.

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