TRENTON, N.J. — New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie on Thursday introduced a regulation to cap how much medication prescribers can earn from drug companies at $10,000 a year.
The new regulation, which still must undergo a public hearing before being implemented, is aimed at addressing the opioid crisis, the governor said.
The announcement comes as Christie heads President Donald Trump’s commission on the opioid crisis and as the two-term, term-limited governor focuses his last year in office on the issue. Christie, like Trump, is a Republican.
The order also comes after a 2016 Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services report that showed pharmaceutical companies paid out $69 million to doctors. According to the governor’s office, two-thirds of that cash went to only 300 physicians, with 39 getting at least $200,000.
Christie said the rule addresses concerns about whether treatment is being “improperly influenced.”
“Doctors who prescribe medicine should be motivated only by what is best for their patients, and never by financial incentives heaped on them by the pharmaceutical industry,” Attorney General Chris Porrino said.
The regulation also prohibits prescription writers from accepting certain gifts, such as entertainment and lavish meals. The regulation carves out an exception for meals under $15. It also excludes compensation for speaking at continuing education events.
A public hearing on the regulation is expected to be held Oct. 19.