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Massachusetts Legislature Makes Major Changes to the Gift Ban Law

My colleagues from ML Strategies, George Atanasov and Julie Cox, published a client alert discussing changes to the Massachusetts Pharmaceutical and Medical Device Manufacturer Code of Conduct. The text of the alert is included below:

The Massachusetts Legislature today voted 147-3 to pass the FY2013 budget conference report which includes sections that will alter key provisions of M.G.L. Chapter 111N, the state’s so-called Gift Ban Law. After weeks of deliberations, the six-member legislative conference committee filed the compromise budget last night. The final product addresses differences between the initial House and Senate budget proposals in which the House attempted to repeal entire sections of the Gift Ban Law and the Senate opted not to address the issue.

The compromise language amends Section 2 of the Gift Ban Law in several ways, including:

  • Permitting the payment of reasonable expenses necessary for technical training on the use of a medical device without a requirement for a pre-existing vendor purchase contract
  • Allowing for the payment of “modest meals and refreshments” for non-CME educational presentations that are designed to educate health care practitioners about the benefits, risks and appropriate uses of prescription drugs or medical devices
  • Charging the Department of Public Health (DPH) with the responsibility to promulgate regulations that define “modest meals and refreshments” and
  • Relieving pharmaceutical and medical device companies from disclosing certain information to the DPH where the companies have already done so pursuant to federal law

The new provisions would take effect upon Governor Deval Patrick’s signature.

 

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Author

Brian P. Dunphy is a member of the Health Care Enforcement & Investigations Group at Mintz. He defends clients facing government investigations and whistleblower complaints regarding alleged violations of the federal False Claims Act. Brian also handles commercial health care litigation.