Last week, the Massachusetts Senate and House of Representatives both passed House Bill 4200. Currently, Massachusetts’s Pharmaceutical and Medical Device Manufacturer Conduct Law, requires the Department of Public Health to “adopt a standard marketing code of conduct for all pharmaceutical or medical device manufacturing companies that employ a person to sell or market prescription drugs or medical devices in the commonwealth.” This section of the law also specifies certain activities that the adopted marketing code of conduct shall not allow, including the provision of certain meals to health care practitioners and direct payment for meals at a CME event, scientific or educational conference, or professional meeting.
HB 4200 would amend this section of the Law, and allow the adopted marketing code of conduct to permit pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturers to provide “modest meals and refreshments in connection with non-CME educational presentations for the purpose of educating and informing health care practitioners about the benefits, risks and appropriate uses of prescription drugs or medical devices, disease states or other scientific information.” The presentation must occur “in a venue and manner conducive to informational communication.” Additionally, pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturers who provide these meals must file quarterly reports detailing all non-CME educational presentations in which they provide such meals or refreshments.
HB 4200 has been sent to the Governor of Massachusetts for consideration.
Update: On July 8, 2012, the Governor of Massachusetts signed HB 4200. According to HB 4200, the amendments to the portion of the law discussed in this post became efffective on July 1, 2012.