AUGUSTA (AP) — Lawmakers in Maine are close to passing a bill that would limit perks given to doctors from pharmaceutical companies.

The Portland Press Herald reported ( ) the bill would head to Gov. Paul LePage’s desk after passing the Legislature. Democratic Rep. Scott Hamann says the proposed measure will help ensure doctors prescribing drugs don’t have conflicting interests.

The bill would ban cash gifts and noncash gifts where reciprocity is implied. Speaking fees and modest meals at legitimate academic conferences were left untouched under the measure.

Hamann says the proposed law addresses part of Maine’s addiction problem by preventing doctors from overprescribing opioids.

Pharmaceutical companies nearly doubled the amount spent on marketing opioids between 2014 and 2015. Medical ethics experts say payments from drug companies can influence prescribing patterns.

colleagues doctors discusses findings from the patient’s card
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colleagues doctors discusses findings from the patient’s card

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