Friday, March 13, 2009

Massachusetts is an example to follow

As of July 1, drug company gifts to doctors are banned in Massachusetts. The legislation also limits free meals and requires that companies report any payment for consulting or speaker fees that amount to more than $50. This law affects all companies that do business in Massachusetts, meaning that it will cover doctors all over the country who interact with the many biotech and pharma companies around Boston. This is a step forward for consumers and patients to be treated without the psychological imprinting of doctors towards certain drugs or devices and for an open and transparent indication of what companies foot the bill for a doctors' speaking engagements, preventing "educational programs" from being disguised marketing programs. They will likely still be such, but it will now be blatant. Firms say that this will make Massachusetts unfriendly towards their companies, but if other states follow, the companies will have no choice but to be open about their practices. This is a step forward for patients, and companies have to realize that life is more important than sales. Read more here.

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