BOSTON – The Prescription Project applauds the District of Columbia City Council, which passed the Safe Rx Act this week by a vote of 7-6. Among its provisions, SafeRx will require pharmaceutical representatives in the district to be licensed and adhere to a code of conduct, and penalize those who convey knowingly false information in their sales pitches. Sponsored by Councilmember David Catania (I-At-large), the act is an important step to regulating the runaway sales force of pharmaceutical companies, which send nearly 100,000 detailers into doctors’ offices and hospitals each year.
“At a time when a lot of eyes are on the pharmaceutical industry’s questionable conduct and rising costs, SafeRx provides a great example of putting science on level ground with a powerful and unregulated sales force,” said Robert Restuccia, executive director of the Prescription Project in Boston, which aims to reduce the influence of marketing on medical practice. “D.C.’s law creates accountability for the reps and what they are telling our doctors, and sends the pharmaceutical industry the message that their aggressive sales tactics have not gone unnoticed.”
The new law also provides for an academic detailing program in the District, which will offer physicians sales-free meetings and materials on pharmaceuticals, and will establish required educational credentials for sales reps.
About The Prescription Project
The Prescription Project is led by Community Catalyst in partnership with the Institute on Medicine as a Profession. Created with The Pew Charitable Trusts, the Project promotes evidence-based prescribing and seeks to eliminate conflicts of interest in medicine caused by pharmaceutical marketing to physicians by working with academic medical centers, professional medical societies, public and private payers, and state and federal policymakers. For more information, please visit www.prescriptionproject.org.