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Massachusetts panel rejects ban on drug firm gifts

Boston Globe, July 16, 2008
A ban on drug companies providing gifts and meals to physicians was stripped out of proposed legislation a Massachusetts House committee had approved. The panel also removed requirements that drug and medical device companies report payments they make to doctors for consulting and speaking to other physicians and that the Department of Public Health post that information on its website. A proposed $5,000 fine per violation was also dropped from the bill. Instead, the measure would simply require drug companies to adopt a marketing code of conduct, such as the one the pharmaceutical industry's trade association announced while negotiations on the Massachusetts bill were in progress.