The California Senate has passed a bill banning pharmaceutical companies from giving gifts to doctors. California doctors accepted $1.4 billion in gifts from the industry in 2014, the bill's sponsor says.
The legislation, Senate Bill 790, targets a common practice in the US that critics believe results in doctors ignoring generic drugs in favor of more high-dollar medications that drive up health care costs.
The bill would specifically restrict companies from offering travel, consulting fees and other gifts to medical professionals.
"This bill is all about protecting patients, taxpayers and driving down the costs of prescription drugs," State Sen. Mike McGuire (D), the sponsor of the bill, said in a statement.
"Throughout the state, some of our largest hospitals and medical centers have realized the importance of limiting gifts from the pharma industry to doctors — it’s time the state of California bans these types of gifts and incentives, which will put patients above profits."