Jun 25, 2010

Massachusetts Considering Lifting "Gift Ban", Really?

The unpredictable times continue in Massachusetts ... few would have predicted that Ted Kennedy's seat in the Senate would be filled by a truck-driving, male-modeling republican from a town best known for its immense factory outlet stores rather than political dynasties. 

Similarly, few would have predicted that the Massachusetts House of Representatives would be attempting to repeal the hotly contested "gift ban" (Chapter 305 of the Acts of 2008) that, among other things, made it illegal for physicians to take a pen or have coffee with someone from the pharmaceutical or medical device industry.

Citing concerns from the biotech and medical device communities as well as the convention center and restaurants, the House leadership released its version of the state economic stimulus plan which would lift the ban. The media is in a flutter. locally and beyond the Baystate.  The Boston Herald (HERE), Boston Globe (HERE), and WSJ Heatlh Blog also covered the story today (HERE), and more continue to emerge.

Many are wondering if the Scott Brown "phenomenon" wasn't a fluke ... could things really be changing? We'll soon find out.  If nothing else, this bold move sends a strong signal to other states that may be considering similar bans and to those that have been riding the conflict of interest wave (which is finally getting some push-back, HERE).

Media Coverage
  • Boston Business Journal

  • Boston Globe

  • Boston Herald

  • WSJ Health Blog