Mass. loosens ban on industry gifts to doctors
Calls to prohibit alcohol ignored; no spending cap
Following the lead of the legislature and the Patrick administration, the state Public Health Council adopted regulations Wednesday loosening the gift ban under the Massachusetts law that restricts marketing by the precription drug and medical device industries. The new rules had been expected since last July when the budget signed by Gov. Deval Patrick allowed companies to pick up tabs for “modest” meals and refreshments for doctors during informational sessions about products. But critics said they were disappointed the regulations failed to heed calls to prohibit alcohol or set a dollar limit on the amount drug and device companies can spend for meals at the sessions.