New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal has proposed new amendments to the state’s limitations on prescriber compensation from pharmaceutical manufacturers. The limitations, which were enabled by the “Prescriber Gift Ban” (N.J.A.C. 13:45J), were formalized at the beginning of the year during the final days of the Christie administration.
The regulations finalized in January prohibit prescribers from accepting compensation, in many forms, from pharmaceutical manufacturers. Prohibited forms of compensation included vacations, travel expenses, event tickets, and electronic devices, among others. Prescribers could accept compensation from pharmaceutical manufacturers, within strict limits, in forms such as royalties, educational events, and “modest meals.” These permissible forms of compensation were limited to $10,000 in a calendar year in aggregate. The state’s provider licensing board was given enforcement authority over these rules.
On Monday, Attorney General Grewal proposed several changes to the regulations:
- The cap on meals for education events would be eliminated, provided the meals facilitate the educational program to maximize prescriber learning, including information about disease states and treatment approaches.
- “Modest meal” standards would be redefined to equal $15 for breakfast/lunch, and $30 for dinner. This amount could be increased in future years to account for rises in the Consumer Price Index.
- “Prescriber” would be redefined as a physician, podiatrist, physician assistant, advanced practice nurse, dentist, or optometrist [licensed] who has an active license pursuant to Title 45 of the Revised Statutes. “Prescriber” does not include a licensee who is an employee as defined in N.J.A.C 18:35-7.1 of a pharmaceutical manufacturer who does not provide patient care.
The proposal was officially submitted on Aug. 6; the public has 60 days to submit comments to the Division of Consumer Affairs. The entire rule proposal can be read here.
Please contact me at CButeas@njbia.org if you have any questions or comments regarding this proposal or the enabling legislation.