The Greater Boston Convention & Visitors Bureau has released an online Frequently Asked Questions document about The Pharmaceutical and Medical Device Manufacturer Code of Conduct.

The FAQ addresses concerns expressed by medical meeting and hospitality professionals, such as who is required to follow the Massachusetts rules; how the code affects event planners, hotels, convention centers, and special-event venues that host medical meetings; and what parameters the code establishes regarding food-and-beverage events for healthcare professionals.

The GBCVB is also planning to produce a downloadable handbook summarizing the new regulations and compliance strategies, which will be available at its Web site.

As we reported in "Massachusetts Finalizes Drug and Device Marketing Code," Medical Meetings Extra, March 20, 2008, the regulations, which will take effect on July 1, 2009, are the toughest pharmaceutical marketing rules in the country and have far-reaching ramifications for healthcare meetings.

The code regulates interactions between drug and medical device companies and healthcare practitioners, placing restrictions on meeting venues, gifts, meals, and entertainment. It also requires companies to disclose any gifts or payments to healthcare practitioners worth $50 or more; this data will be made available to the public on a state Web site.