Have Some Preemption with Your Sunshine!
FDA Law Blog has a very interesting post today about the Physician Payments Sunshine Act, version 2009. Like an earlier version, this bill would set federal standards for the disclosure of gifts from pharma to docs in their various roles as consultants, etc.. Unlike the earlier version, there is a preemption provision here which would bar individual states from imposing their own, different such requirements.
Can anyone spell, "Massachusetts"? OK, we'll make it easier, "Vermont"?
Once again, the "patchwork" of standards argument was used to justify preemption in this instance. Relative to FDA preemption, this is small potatoes in my view. But there it is. I can see how, for example, if Company A wanted to pay Doc B 10K for a few minutes' time, they might not want to set him up in Reno for a few days to do so.
Here is the relevant passage:
"Unlike the 2007 version, the 2009 legislation includes language, effective January 1, 2010, pre-empting state laws that require reporting of payments or other transfers of value to physicians. However, the bill would not preempt state requirements for reporting of information not required under the bill.
Federal preemption was an important to concession to industry. As stated by AdvaMed in its press release: “[I]t is important that any federal disclosure legislation create a uniform national standard to prevent a patchwork approach by all 50 states.”
Perhaps it is good that "chaos" has become "patchwork." Eventually, it may evolve into "mosaic" or even "tableau." And, from there, to "federalism."
Alternatively, some day we might be able to get a national driver's license and never have to deal with our local state office again. Preemption we should live with? Compare waiting on line at the post office and at your state motor vehicle department.
Deal or no deal?