Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Boston loses CME convention business as the law of unintended consequences plays out

From the Boston Herald:

A major medical group has canceled a multimillion-dollar convention in Boston, citing the state’s new law cracking down on free gifts, meals and other goodies handed out to doctors by the pharmaceutical industry.

Other life-sciences groups, meanwhile, are sending strong signals that they also won’t
hold conventions in Boston as long as the state’s new law remains unclear and out of sync with industry gift-giving standards.

In a letter to the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority, the executive director of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology said it was pulling out of its 2015 convention contract in Boston because it’s “very difficult” to find sponsorships and to provide education courses under current legal conditions.

The prohibition of gift giving is a moot point in view of Pharma’s voluntary decision to stop the freebies. Massachusetts is not exactly industry-friendly these days and the broader concern is what additional legislation may be in the pipeline, prompting professional societies to play it safe and take their convention business elsewhere.

Via Policy and Medicine.

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