Friday, May 20, 2011

Massachusetts Gift Ban and Reporting Law--In Jeopardy?

A while ago we heard that the Massachusetts House had passed a bill to repeal the gift ban that was enacted as part of that state's health reform efforts (you know, the thing that then-Gov. Mitt Romney didn't do), under pressure from the combined Pharma and restaurant lobbies. I was waiting to do a blog post until I heard what the state Senate had to say, as last year, a similar bill was passed by the House and then died. But this humorous, consumer-oriented website-- is such a nice summary that I felt obligated to pass it along (thanks to PostScript for alerting me).

If this rendition is true, then the sneaky Pharma folks are not only pushing to repeal the ban on gifts, on the basis that it's hurting the Mass. restaurant business in a time of recession (a claim that seems now to have been decisively refuted, by the way). They also are using this as cover to repeal the part of the law that mandates reporting of gifts to physicians, even though that presumably has no direct impact on restaurant business.

Stay tuned to see if the lobbying muscle also works in the Senate.

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