The regulations, approved by the Public Health Council, are intended to implement a law passed last summer to restrict interactions between physicians and drug and device companies. Legislators have said the regulations are intended to control costs by reining in unnecessary prescribing of expensive drugs and to make doctors’ potential conflicts of interest transparent to the public.
Any company doing business in Massachusetts must comply with the regulations.
After the Public Health Department staff proposed the regulations, objections were raised by dozens of interest groups and lawmakers. Consumer groups and some legislators wanted even stricter restrictions on the behavior of companies and their salespeople, such as requiring disclosure of all research payments.
Many companies said the proposal went too far and would discourage firms from doing business in Massachusetts. Convention and hotel executives said the rules would scare away companies from sponsoring continuing medical education courses for physicians, which bring millions of dollars into Boston.
TO WATCH: It will be interesting to see how the state enforces this part of the law now that they’ve broken clinical trials into two groups. From the Globe:
There are two substantive changes, however. Companies will have to disclose payments to doctors and hospitals for research designed to promote a particular product, sometimes called “seeding trials”; funding for research aimed at answering a scientific question will still not have to be disclosed.