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Mass. health panel OKs easing of gift ban

Posted: November 24, 2012 - 12:01 am ET

Massachusetts' Public Health Council approved a regulation that allows drug and device companies to pay for “modest meals and refreshments” for doctors and other providers outside of hospital or providers' offices, rolling back an earlier restriction on such purchases.

The move aims to allow for education about drugs, medical devices and disease states, provided that it takes place in a venue and manner “conducive to informational communication,” according to the regulation.

Legislation passed as part of the state’s budget over the summer included the amendments to the state's 2008 law banning drug and medical-device companies from giving gifts to healthcare providers, and garnered the support of Gov. Deval Patrick.

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