Stabenow angles bill into drug package


Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) is trying to insert into the Senate Democrats'
prescription-drug package a bill that would keep pharmaceutical companies from
taking an advertising tax deduction on any money they spend on advertising and
marketing costs beyond what they spend on research and development.

Stabenow introduced the bill as stand-alone legislation in April, but now the
Senate Democrats plan to come out with a comprehensive plan.

So far, Stabenow's legislation is not included, one source said.

In the House, Rep. Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-N.J.) has introduced a companion
bill to Stabenow's, but House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Bill Thomas
(R-Calif.) and House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Billy Tauzin (R-La.)
already have agreed to keep any language related to regulating prescription-drug
advertising out of the House bill.

Instead, Thomas has included language in the broad bill he is sponsoring that
would require a government agency to do a study on the cost and effects of
prescription-drug advertising.