On May 26th, Governor Peter Shumlin signed Vermont Senate Bill 104 into law, which amends sections 4631a and 4632 of Vermont's Prescribed Products Gift Ban and Disclosure Law. Among other things, Senate Bill 104 shifts the reporting period for required marketing disclosures from the fiscal year to the calendar year. Pursuant to the passed legislation, manufacturers must submit their disclosure report by April 1st of each year for the reportable expenditures made in the previous calendar year. This shift of the reporting period to a calendar year will bring Vermont in line with the federal disclosure requirements, as well as the state requirements for the District of Columbia, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, and West Virginia. Additionally, the marketing disclosure report will now be due on April 1st, the same date as Vermont’s Samples Disclosure Form. This law will become effective July 1, 2011, following the reporting deadline for Vermont’s 2010 disclosure reports. On April 1, 2012, manufacturers will be required to report expenditures and gifts to Vermont healthcare providers for the second half of 2011 (July 1, 2011 – December 31, 2011). However, the Vermont Samples Disclosure Form that will also be due on April 1, 2012 will still cover the entire 2011 calendar year. Then, on April 1, 2013 and going forward, manufacturers will be required to disclose all activity (expenditures, gifts, and samples to Vermont healthcare providers) for the calendar year by April 1.
In addition, Senate Bill 104 amends section 4631a of Vermont's Prescribed Product Gift Ban and Disclosure Law to exclude "prescribed products distributed free of charge or at a discounted price pursuant to a manufacturer-sponsored or manufacturer-funded patient assistance program" from the definition of "sample."
Will we see other states amending their marketing disclosure laws to bring their laws into conformity with the federal disclosure requirements? Will any state be so bold as to amend their marketing disclosure laws to allow the federal law to completely preempt the state requirements?