Monday, August 11, 2008

A lousy day for Massachusetts medical device companies

Governor Deval Patrick signed the health care cost containment bill into law yesterday afternoon. The bill, as enacted, orders the Mass. Department of Public Health to establish a code of ethics for life science companies in Massachusetts. Furthermore, the law requires companies to report any payment of $50 or more to health care practitioners and prohibits payments for meals outside of the doctor's office or hospital setting. The law also prohibits technical training on medical devices prior to the point of sale.

This means that if MDs come and visit us to discuss a medical device or invention, we cannot feed them, since obviously, food costs money and isn't free. I'm going to tell them to bring their own lunch.It means that if some kind of instructions are needed to operate the equipment, we cannot have the doctors involved in the development of the training to make sure it operates properly.

Governer Patrick and the state legislature have gone into an extended "extreme stupid mode" that has led to the enactment of laws that protect nobody and harm the ability to develop new lifesaving medical devices and procedures.

Further from the press, is this incredibly insulting and outrageously wrong remark by a state senator in favor of the bill who is nervous about the unpleasant reaction the legislature is getting:

Sen. Montigny, who decried the influence that marketing dollars exert on doctors and physicians, said that the legislation is a compromise and, as such, contains both good and bad news.

"The good news is that there are no more trips to the Super Bowl, no more seminars in warm climates or $100,000 payments to people for ghostwriting pieces they did no work on," he said. "The governor also signed it without sending it back for any amendments. If he had amended it, since we are no longer in session, that would effectively have killed it."


Herb said...

Does that mean that if the GBC-ASA invites a doctor to give a lecture, we can't feed him?

Bob Crowley said...

I don't think this would be affected since GBC-ASA isn't making or selling any medical devices.