Mass. still fighting over pharma

The Massachusetts Legislature approved a sweeping ban on pharma gifts earlier this year, but now legislators are saying that the commission charged with implementing the law is falling short of its intent.

The Massachusetts Public Health Commission, worried that forcing drugmakers to reveal which doctors they hire to conduct trials would send those clinical studies elsewhere, wrote the regulations to allow pharma's payments to researchers to remain private. "We also wanted to strike a balance by promoting broad transparency of financial dealings between the industry and health care providers, while at the same time recognizing important and legitimate research occurring in Massachusetts," Commissioner John Auerbach said in a statement.

But a state senator who's in favor of full payment disclosure says the regulations "grossly manipulate the spirit and the letter of the law that I wrote," according to The New Bedford Standard, "and we are going to try to reverse them."

So the fight over pharma-doc relations in Massachusetts is far from over. Fasten your seat belts.

- check out the state's release
- read the post at Pharmalot