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State to ease limits on medical gifts

By Helen Shen
Globe Correspondent / July 7, 2012
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Governor Deval Patrick is scheduled Sunday to sign a new $32.5 billion state budget that would likely loosen a ban on gifts from drug and medical device companies to doctors. 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 pharmaceutical and medical device gift ban.

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