Some of you may remember that I wrote a blog about a month ago titled “Pending Legislation Interferes with Cancer Research and Education”. This post was initiated as a result of my learning about a pending bill in the CA Senate known as SB790-Senator Maguire.
Asking anyone, whether as a medical professional or a patient expert to not receive compensation for their time, travel, etc. for the work that they do where they are providing input or receiving information to share with patients on any level is an unfair practice.Barbara Jacoby
While there are a number of issues that needed to be addressed in that bill as I outlined, one of the primary ones is related to the education of providers by the drug companies. As we have all learned in recent years, because of all of the new regulations that doctors are facing, they have less and less time to keep up with all of the current research and options that may be available for their patients. Therefore, this avenue of education has become more important than ever. This point was recently the focus of a Letter to the Editor, published in The Modesto Bee (Modesto, CA) newspaper that is quoted here:
Dr. Gary Feldman: Limits on drug companies’ gifts could lessen educational opportunities
For California medical professionals, education does not stop at graduation from medical school – it lasts throughout their careers and includes learning from peers, clinicians and other medical experts. Unfortunately, legislation currently before the California Assembly could unnecessarily curtail that education and inadvertently harm California patients.
Senate Bill 790 would impose strict limitations around financial benefits that pharmaceutical companies can confer on medical professionals. However, we are concerned the bill will limit critical educational opportunities and the exchange of important research about new medications or treatments. Arbitrary caps on things like meals and refreshments – such as SB 790’s current $250 annual limit – will lead to healthcare professionals not attending educational events, thus limiting their knowledge of available treatments.
We respectfully urge members of the legislature to amend SB 790 to ensure that providers do not lose educational opportunities they rely on to treat patients.
Dr. Gary Feldman, past president California Rheumatology Alliance, Los Angeles
For all cancer patients and for any person dealing with a medical issue, the latest information dealing with research and treatment, including the clinical trials that ultimately bring new treatments to the market, are of primary importance for all medical doctors and their patients. By adding additional restrictions to those that already exist for medical providers by not allowing them to receive compensation for time, travel, etc. to attend conferences where they can provide their expertise and/or receive new/updated education about treatments that may be of great importance to their patients is unacceptable.
Asking anyone, whether as a medical professional or a patient expert to not receive compensation for their time, travel, etc. for the work that they do where they are providing input or receiving information to share with patients on any level is an unfair practice. If you are a CA resident, I would suggest that you contact your State Senator and request that changes be made to the current Senate Bill 790 to make the necessary amendments in order to allow for such restrictions to be lifted so that our medical experts are not financially impacted by doing the work that is necessary to provide the best care for all patients. And although this legislation is a CA bill, you may want to check what is going on in your own State’s legislature since patient advocacy is now more important than ever. Everyone needs to become involved when legislation is hurting/hindering our opportunities for knowing about and/or receiving the best treatments whether we are now patients or may become patients in the future.