Some big companies are reconsidering conventions in Boston due to new Massachusetts laws that place strict conditions on what goodies the pharmaceutical industry can give to physicians. According to the Boston Herald, the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (AAAAI) blamed the cancellation of its multimillion-dollar convention in Boston during 2015 on the tight rules. Other life sciences companies are threatening to follow suit. The new law bans certain gifts to physicians, including meals, drinks, trips and presents.
The executive director of AAAAI, Kay Whalen, wrote a letter to the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority saying that the current laws in Massachusetts prompted reevaluation of the meeting, since it is difficult to find sponsorships and to provide education courses under the rules. Typically, 8,000 people attend the AAAAI convention, resulting on significant revenue to the city. Whalen said other organizations, such as the American Society of Gene Therapy, will follow suit. Supporters of the gift ban, on the other hand, predict that the rest of the country will have similar rules by 2015.
- read the Boston Herald story