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The Boston Globe

Metro

Students, doctors protest easing of gift ban

Governor Deval Patrick is scheduled to sign a new $32.5 billion state budget Sunday that would probably loosen a ban on gifts to doctors from drug and medical device companies. The proposed measure scales back restrictions imposed in 2008 and would now allow companies to pay for “modest” meals and refreshments for doctors as part of informational sessions about their products.

The budget plan has drawn criticism from more than 100 medical students, residents, and physicians, who signed a petition to Patrick June 18 to preserve the state’s existing ban on gifts from makers of pharmaceuticals and medical devices.

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