Repeal of Ban on Educational Dinners for Doctors Passes House

Economic Impact and Lack of Influence on Doctors cited in repeal, issue now moves to the State Senate

By: Dave Andelman – May, 2011

Boston – Massachusetts is now one step closer to repealing the controversial ban on “Educational Dinners for Doctors,” a law no other state has and one that makes Massachusetts unlikely to see pharmaceutical conventions return to the Bay State until it is repealed. The vote was an amendment to the budget, and the issue will now be voted on in the State Senate in the coming weeks.

The repeal has been proposed previously, but has gained momentum recently as the debate over the economic impact, and the loss of pharmaceutical conventions, as become evident. One of the Bill’s original sponsors in previous years, State Representative Garrett Bradley (D-Hingham) was please with the support.

“I am happy that we were able to repeal the Pharmaceutical Gift ban during today’s budget debate, said Representative Bradley. “It is clear that the Commonwealth has lost revenue while this ban has been in place and many local Restaurants have lost a significant part of their business as well.”

Another advocate, Dave Andelman of the Phantom Gourmet, became active on this issue after he watched the bill fail last year. “I was shocked once the case was made and the impact was realized. It made no sense to handcuff our state’s convention business, not to mention restaurants, when no other state has this restriction.” stated Andelman. He concluded, “That is why my team and I felt the need to get involved.”

And their impact was felt. After contacting Representative Bradley’s office, they began reaching out to others. In the State Senate, Bruce Tarr filed the corresponding piece of legislation, and several legislators in the House added their names as cosponsors.

One such legislator, State Representative Paul Adams, (R-Andover) agreed with the impact stating, “I thank Dave Andelman and his team for bringing this issue to my attention in January, early enough for me to cosponsor this legislation. This repeal will make it easier for medical and pharmaceutical companies to do business here and stay here.”

And Representative Adams was not alone.

“With this repeal, the Commonwealth will be able to tap into the lucrative and profitable medical industry. This will enable an influx of revenue into the state’s economy, thus benefiting the taxpayers,” added State Representative Kim Ferguson (R-Holden). She continued, “I also want to thank Dave Andelman for his work and advocacy on this and other issues. The information his team provides is valuable.”

Echoing her sentiments was State Representative Steven Levy (R-Marlborough) who added “This ban accomplished none of its stated goals and had unintended detrimental consequences to the hospitality industry. I thank Dave Andelman for his role in bringing this issue to forefront and being an advocate for this needed change.”

Dave Andelman is the CEO of Phantom Gourmet Inc. He is an attorney and MBA who has been successfully advising restaurants in their operations and promotion for the past seventeen years. Phantom Gourmet is on TV38 Saturday & Sunday 11AM and 96.9FM Boston Talks Saturday 4 to 7PM.