NEWS4 February 2010

Healthcare surveys start again in Minnesota

Legal North America

US— Minnesota is back open for pharmaceutical market research following clarification to a rule that seemingly prohibited healthcare practitioners from taking part in surveys.

State law bans pharmaceutical companies from giving gifts to doctors, but the wording of an FAQ issued by the Minnesota Board of Pharmacy addressing the law implied that the restrictions applied to survey incentives.

The FAQ “effectively shut down pharmaceutical market research” in the state, said the Council of American Survey Research Organisations, the Marketing Research Association and the Pharmaceutical Marketing Research Group – three industry associations that allied to secure a change to the language used in the FAQ.

Revisions to the document now make a distinction between bona fide research and incentive payments – which are allowed – and “marketing surveys”, which are a form of sugging (selling under the guise of research).