Reports: Mass. House looks to kill gift ban

June 24, 2010 by MassDevice staff

Legislation circulating in the Mass. House of Representatives would kill the 2008 gift ban governing industry relationships with physicians.

Gift ban

An omnibus economic development bill wending its way through the Mass. House of Representatives would put paid to the Bay State's two-year-old "gift ban" governing the relationship between the medical device and pharmaceutical industries and physicians.

The gift ban, passed in 2008 and put into effect last year, was aimed at reducing the influence of Big Pharma and device makers over healthcare. It requires companies to report any cash gift of more than $50 to a public database and mandates outright bans on gifts like promotional pens, meals, tickets and other boondoggles.

Industry advocates say the ban creates red tape and increased expenses for medical device makers and pharma companies and squelches innovation. Some doctors complain that it also restricts their opportunity to receive training on the use of new devices, according to the Boston Business Journal.

The Mass. Senate has already approved a version of the development bill that leaves the gift ban intact. Repealing the ban is a long shot because of its popularity in the Legislature, according to Mass High Tech.

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