COMMITTEE ON PUBLIC HEALTH
PHILADELPHIA CITY COUNCIL
Friday, November 30, 2018
City Hall, 1401 John F. Kennedy Blvd., Philadelphia, PA 19107
Written Testimony by the Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia on Bill 180888
The Chamber’s mission is to attract, retain, and grow jobs for the city and region. We follow principles of economic competitiveness to guide our public policy. We believe that government at all levels must operate in an efficient way to maximize the services that it provides, and the Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia will work with other organizations to advance an agenda leading to economic growth and prosperity. As currently written, we oppose Bill 180888.
Bill 180888 was introduced as a possible tool to combat the devastating impact of the opioid crisis. We agree that the City needs to take action on this issue but differ on the approach needed. Instead of introducing broad legislation, the City should be specific with its intent. Rather than requiring all sales agents to register with the City or disclose gifts, the ordinance should only apply to those representatives promoting controlled substances such as opioids. It would be completely unnecessary for companies producing vaccines, medical devices, or other materials to follow these requirements. This ordinance will carry an additional burden as it will require sales agents to disclose gifts at the local level. Companies already disclose this activity based on the Physicians Payments Sunshine Act and this requirement should be removed from the bill as the City can easily access this data. The bill introduced should be amended to add clarifying language on the types of activity that would require licensing of sales agents or limit its scope to specific time requirements for such activity.
Mandating pharmaceutical companies to provide the Department of Health, copies of all written materials describing or concerning such drugs, prior to distributing any such materials to health care practitioners, is burdensome and an overreach by local government. Pharmaceutical companies already share these materials with the FDA and an added layer of compliance from the local government will have a significant impact on operations for the manufacturer. Additionally, the City has not demonstrated the capacity to manage the increase in licensing and permits activity in past years and there is no indication the City will have the ability to manage the additional volume.
The Chamber urges thoughtful and deliberate analysis when considering broad business regulations. We are happy to serve as partners in guiding legislation so as to best effectuate a policy’s intent. Further, this bill should be amended to mitigate any unintended consequences that can impact the hospitality industry. There should be exemptions included in the bill to exempt activity related to conventions and or product launches. Thank you for the opportunity to provide comment on Bill No. 180888.