By Christina van Waasbergen

Today the Farabee Senate unanimously passed a bill requiring doctors to inform their patients that they are paid by a pharmaceutical company to prescribe a certain drug. The Farabee House will now vote on this bill.

Andrew Lupton, a senior from Highland Park High School, argued in favor of the bill. He believes that it will help make sure patients get the drug that is best for them.

“Currently drug companies are able to have much too large of an influence over new prescriptions that patients are given.” Lupton said. “They are able to influence doctors to give patients a prescription that may not be the most effective or effective at all for them. This is effectively allowing the private sector to interfere with the well-being of Texas citizens.”

Nicole Bruner, a home-schooled junior from the Richardson delegation, argued against the bill. She said that she supported the bill overall, and that she spoke against it “mainly as a devil’s advocate” in order to point out the flaws in the bill. She believes that the government should go after drug companies, not doctors.

“The medical practitioners are the ones we’re supposed to be able to trust.” Bruner said. “The better way to enforce accountability [for what drugs are prescribed] is to investigate the [pharmaceutical] companies themselves and make sure they are the ones that are being punished if they are bribing people into using their brand, rather than the doctors who are just trying to make a living and keep us healthy.”
However, Bruner said that she ultimately voted for the bill because the bill’s author effectively addressed her concerns in his closing statement.