Bill would limit gifts to Maine doctors from drug companies

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AUGUSTA — A bill limiting gifts from drug companies to doctors is receiving bipartisan support in Maine.

Rep. Scott Hamann, D-South Portland, says he wrote the bill after reading how some doctors who prescribed opioids received thousands of dollars from drug manufacturers. He says the bill received widespread support because many see the link between opioid prescribing and the heroin epidemic.

The Portland Press Herald reports the bill prohibits gifts of more than $50 annually and limits doctor’s speaking and consulting fees to research purposes.

Eastern Maine Healthcare Systems testified in support of the bill at a hearing Tuesday. It says the system’s current ethics policy prohibits gifts that appear to be in a conflict of interest.

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A representative of pharmaceutical manufacturers says the law would hinder the relationship between drug companies and doctors.

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