Mass. House votes to repeal medical gift law

July 8, 2010

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BOSTON—The Massachusetts House is hoping to repeal a state law requiring drug companies report gifts to doctors.

The repeal was included in an economic development bill approved by the House on Wednesday.

Democratic House leaders defended the vote to repeal the ban, approved just two years ago, saying it has made it harder to attract companies to Massachusetts.

The law requires pharmaceutical companies and medical device manufacturers disclose gifts over $50 made to a doctor, hospital, nursing home or pharmacist. Violators face fines up to $5,000.

Supporters of the law say gifts drive up health care costs by encouraging doctors to prescribe expensive brand name medicines.

The Senate version of the bill did not include the repeal. The bill now heads to a six-member committee to work out a compromise.

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