On March 5, 2012, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) released a Final Rule governing “on-site, in-person promotional activities, including educational activities” by pharmaceutical company representatives at VA medical facilities. Department of Veterans Affairs, Drug and Drug-Related Supply Promotion by Pharmaceutical Company Representatives at VA Facilities, Final Rule, 77 Fed. Reg. 12997 (Mar. 5, 2012); 38 C.F.R. § 1.220. The Final Rule modifies 38 C.F.R. part 1 and becomes effective on April 4, 2012.
The Final Rule was part of VA’s effort to establish a set of national VA-wide rules governing on-site promotion at VA facilities to replace the current network of rules created at the local and regional VA Integrated Service Network (VISN) levels. Any inconsistent local policies are preempted by the Rule. VA’s purpose in creating the rule was “to reduce or eliminate any potential for disruption in the patient care environment, manage activities and promotions at VA facilities, and provide pharmaceutical company representatives with a consistent standard of permissible business practice at VA facilities.” Its objective was to protect patient safety, the integrity of VA’s National Formulary and criteria-for-use, and the amount of time that VA clinicians have to commit to their patients.
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