Industry Leader Slagle Takes Anti-Sunshine Act Campaign To Washington
Steve Slagle, CAE, president and CEO of the Irving, Texas-based Promotional Products Association International (PPAI) traveled to Washington D.C., to discuss PPAI's concerns about S. 301, the Physician Payments Sunshine Act, with lawmakers.
PPAI lobbyist Robert Drummer and Slagle met with Stephanie Carlton, health care aide to Senator John Cornyn (R – Texas). Senator Cornyn, as a member of the Senate Finance Committee, is responsible for this issue on a national level.
“We had the opportunity to address the threat S. 301 poses to our industry and explain that the bill, if passed in its current form, would effectively prohibit the distribution of promotional products to health care professionals,” said Slagle. “The reality is that if every item must be reported, many companies will choose to give nothing of value rather than report on each item.”
Slagle explained that as written, the bill requires drug and medical supply manufacturers to report transfers of any value, including promotional products, to physicians once a $100 ceiling has been reached over the course of a year. Slagle feels the legislation doesn’t include a reasonable minimum dollar exclusion, so even low cost imprinted items such as a pen, coffee mug or legal pad must be tracked to determine if the $100 annual reporting requirement is met.
Additionally, Slagle stressed he feels the legislation must include language that preempts states from enacting even more stringent reporting and/or de minimis requirements. He also explained what he sees as the impact this will likely have on the entire country, particularly in terms of sales volume, jobs and companies nationwide.
“It was a very productive meeting,” said Slagle. “In addition to the broader economic impact this piece of legislation would have on the industry overall, we were able to break down our concerns to a much more personal level—as an example, we shared the number of promotional products companies based in Texas, how many Texans are employed in the industry as well as annual sales of promotional products in Texas.” Slagle continued, “Ms. Carlton was both impressed and surprised by those numbers.”