The Massachusetts House of Representatives recently voted on and passed its proposals for the commonwealth’s Fiscal Year 2013 budget. The proposal included Consolidated Amendment I, which would repeal the Pharmaceutical and Medical Device Manufacturer Conduct Law [Mass. Gen. Laws Ch. 111N].

Currently, this section of the law requires the Department to “adopt a standard marketing code of conduct for all pharmaceutical or medical device manufacturing companies that employ a person to sell or market prescription drugs or medical devices in the commonwealth.” Among other things, the code of conduct may not permit the following:  

  • The provision of certain meals to health care practitioners;
  • The provision of entertainment or recreational items of any value;
  • Sponsorship or payment for continuing medical education (“CME”) programs;
  • Travel reimbursement;
  • Reimbursement for a practitioner’s participation in a CME; and
  • Payment for meals at a CME event, scientific or educational conference, or professional meeting.

Last year, the House voted to repeal only this section of the law, also known as the Gift Ban; all other sections of the law were not included. The final version of the budget, however, did not include the provision that would have repealed this section of the law.

In addition to the Gift Ban, the law also requires each pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturer who employs or contracts with a pharmaceutical or medical device manufacturer agent to disclose to the Department of Public Health the “value, nature, purpose and particular recipient of any fee, payment, subsidy or other economic benefit with a value of at least $50, which the company provides, directly or through its agents, to any covered recipient in connection with the company’s sales and marketing activities.”

The Massachusetts Senate will now consider the House’s version of the Fiscal Year 2013 budget.