Michigan Delegation Bats 1000; Supports AMA Ban on Direct-to-Consumer Drug Ads > Michigan State Medical Society


Michigan Delegation Bats 1000; Supports AMA Ban on Direct-to-Consumer Drug Ads

The AMA House of Delegates this week took strong action on a number of important issues affecting physicians and patients including direct-to-consumer advertising, drug costs, EHRs, meaningful use, maintenance of certification, and graduate medical education funding, among others.

Three resolutions from the MSMS House of Delegates also were adopted including a policy supporting a ban on microbeads in personal care products, supporting the efficient transition of Veteran medics to civilian paramedics, and protecting consumers' information on all health insurance marketplaces. Members of the Michigan Delegation, chaired by James D. Grant, MD, of Bloomfield Hills, testified in favor of these resolutions.

In a historic action, the AMA House adopted a policy to support the elimination of marketing pharmaceuticals by drug companies directly to patients through television, magazines, and other media.

The argument was that the ads unnecessarily increase the overall cost of health care by convincing patients that they need a high-cost, brand name drug that is not necessarily appropriate for them. It was pointed out that the only countries in the world to allow it are the U.S. and New Zealand and that the companies could put more of the $4.5 billion spent on ads back into research and development.

During the sometimes contentious debate, Michigan Delegate Michael Chafty, MD, of Kalamazoo, stood up and passionately urged the AMA House to have the courage to support the ban. The House soon after voted in favor of doing so.

The AMA House also committed the AMA to help educate patients about the ever-increasing cost of pharmaceuticals by pushing for greater transparency in drug pricing, drug company mergers, and costs of R&D and marketing. Action on other "hot button" issues included:

  • Concern about the lack of health information technology interoperability and the need for the acceleration and development of universal interoperability standards applicable to all electronic health record vendors.
  • Opposition to meaningful use penalties.
  • Continued action to address the cost and questionable efficacy of Maintenance of Certification.
  • Seeking fair and equitable reimbursement for out-of-network physicians.
  • Pushing for increases in GME funding at least in proportion to what other health professions are receiving.
  • Fighting the trend of hospitals to use employed hospitalists to limit the rights of private physicians to admit and treat patients while in the hospital.
Wayne State students Brenton Kinker, JD, and Kate Dobesh, JD, met with AMA Speaker of the House Susan Bailey, MD, and Vice Speaker Bruce Scott, MD, at the end of the 2015 Interim meeting.

Michigan Alternate Delegate Betty Chu, MD, MBA, of West Bloomfield, served on Reference Committee F, which deals with AMA finances, and Alternate Delegate David Walsworth, MD, of East Lansing, served on a special reference committee to review efforts of the AMA Council on Ethical and Judicial Affairs to modernize the AMA Code of Medical Ethics.

For more information about the Michigan Delegation to the AMA or more details about AMA Interim meeting actions and issues, please contact David Fox, Senior Director, Federation Relations at 517/336-5731 or Stacey Hettiger, Director, Medical and Regulatory Policy, at 517/336-5766.



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