State Senator Mark Montigny of New Bedford testified Friday before officials of the Mass. Department of Public Health, urging the Department to maintain a strict ban on gifts and lavish meals from pharmaceutical companies to Mass. doctors.  Montigny pushed to include the ban in a 2008 health care law, but it has been watered down since.  Montigny wants to see the law strengthened, if anything...

Montigny says he used to champion the Department of Public Health as one of the best in the country.  But the New Bedford Democrat says the department has lost its focus over the past ten years, and the evidence is the recent scandals involving the state crime lab and the fungal meningities outbreak involving a Mass. Compounding pharmacy.