(Glastonbury, Conn.): Recent regulations passed in Massachusetts will severely hurt research with healthcare practitioners. The Marketing Research Association (MRA) is calling for all members of the research profession in Massachusetts to take action now.

On March 11, 2009 the Massachusetts Public Health Council released new regulations (the Marketing Code of Conduct) with healthcare practitioners. By requiring the public reporting of payments to practitioners that originate from pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturers, the Code will make practitioners less likely to participate in vital survey research that provides enormous benefit to the public. Reduced participation will lead to less research performed in Massachusetts, resulting in significant loss of jobs and income – something that Massachusetts can ill afford in this time of economic hardship.

All researchers are urged to visit the MRA Massachusetts Action page. Anyone (including non-MRA-members) can and should get involved. The Action page will let visitors learn about the new regulations, their impact and some simple steps to fight them.

MRA will be working with volunteers to change the regulations and is seeking support from other research association and potential allies.

According to LaToya Lang, MRA’s State Legislative Director, “it is vital that you get involved today to protect your profession and your business. Even if you don’t live in Massachusetts, you can ask your employees, co-workers, colleagues, friends and family that do live there to take action.”

Recently, MRA successfully killed similar legislation in New Mexico, Maryland, Mississippi and Rhode Island.

“Any chance at victory will require a groundswell of grassroots support,” commented Lang.

Research incentives to healthcare practitioners are more frequently being caught up in attempts at the state level to restrict “gifts” to practitioners from pharmaceutical, medical device and medical supply manufacturers. Such “gifts” are assumed to be buying influence on behalf of the manufacturers.