A new law in Washington that requires pharmaceutical sales representatives to obtain a special license to sell pharmaceutical products in the District will not affect representatives attending medical meetings or conventions in D.C.

The SafeRX law, which went into effect April 1, created concern for medical meeting planners who thought that the legislation might have an impact their meetings. Initially, the law was not clear on how it would affect pharmaceutical sales representatives, also known as detailers, attending meetings in D.C. However, in response to concerns from Destination DC, the city’s destination marketing organization; the Washington Convention Center Authority; the Hotel Association of Washington, D.C.; as well as the members and clients of these organizations, the District of Columbia Department of Health announced that pharmaceutical industry employees who travel to D.C. do not need to be licensed in the District to staff booths or speak at medical conferences and conventions. According to a press release from Destination DC, the DOH issued a “Notice of Final Rulemaking” on April 17, narrowing the scope of license applicants to exclude convention attendees.

"We know that this legislation was not drafted with medical meetings and conventions in mind, and it's important that our customers know that, too," said Elliott Ferguson, senior vice president, convention sales and services at Destination DC. "With this formal clarification, D.C. officials have shown that they understand the economic benefits that medical meetings and conventions bring to the city."

Since the amendment was passed, hospitality officials have been working to provide information to medical groups coming to Washington.