A proposed ban on gifts to physicians and other healthcare practitioners in Iowa was stripped out of the state's healthcare reform bill before Gov. Chet Culver signed it into law on May 19.

The gift ban was initially included in the version of the bill, Senate File 389, which was approved by the state senate in March. It would have been among the toughest state provisions of its kind. The law would have prohibited drug and device companies that participate in a state healthcare program from providing gifts to healthcare practitioners. In the language that was stripped out, the definition of gifts included payments, meals, entertainment, travel, honoraria, or anything of value provided to a physician “unless consideration of equal or greater value is received.” Among other things, the definition of gift included speaker honoraria for anything other than certified CME.

In recent months, Vermont and Massachusetts have passed laws that restrict gifts to physicians and interactions with healthcare professionals. For more on the potential effects of these state laws, see our cover story, beginning on page 24.