The Massachusetts Public Health Council has passed long-debated regulations prohibiting nearly all forms of drug company and medical-device maker gifting to healthcare providers. The new rules also will mandate disclosure of certain types of payments that medical product companies make to providers and ban any payments that arent bona fide compensation for services.
Enactment of the regulations places Massachusetts among a handful of states to require that drugmakers disclose their consulting-agreement payments to physicians and makes it the only state to require that devicemakers do so as well. The new regulations also make Massachusetts the first state to require companies to adopt a code of conduct prohibiting a wide range of gifting practices. The gifting regulations will take effect July 1, 2009, and the first public reporting of payments to providers will be made on July 1, 2010, according to a news release.
Under the new regulations, medical product companies are prohibited from paying for providers to attend entertainment events and activities such as sporting events, museum visits and most travel. They are also prohibited from giving complimentary items such as mugs and pens, and meals must be modest and only provided during training or educational events. Companies will still be allowed to sponsor continuing medical educational events under the new rules.