We have previously written about the change in the Washington, D.C. pharmaceutical detailer license requirements. The change made it so that if you were engaged in detailing for less than thirty consecutive calendar days per year, you no longer needed a detailing license.
However, that change led to some confusion as the definition of "consecutive" was not clearly delineated. As we noted in the aforementioned article, some companies opted to interpret the definition as meaning that reps who were dedicated and assigned to Washington, D.C. would continue to obtain licensure while district managers and reps assigned to multiple areas (including the District) would not.
Apparently picking up on the fact that many companies were confused by the change and were going to make the best of it, the D.C. Department of Health issued a short FAQ sheet, which can be found here.
The FAQ sheet clears up the confusion a bit, by noting that the law "allows individuals, such as speakers at a conference, who come to the District once a year, or other persons that come once a year for a short duration of time of less than 30 consecutive days." However, the FAQ states that the law does not allow "someone who comes to the District for a few days a month to avoid licensure, if the person will return to the District again within the same calendar year."
The FAQ also takes on a strange definition of "thirty consecutive days," stating that if a detailer were to start detailing in D.C. on January 1st, he or she would be required to either cease detailing in the District or obtain a license come January 31st. Such an interpretation is strange, as it would force a district manager who comes to check on their team twice a year, once in January for a few days, and again in July for a few days, to obtain licensure.
Another issue is, in clarifying their aim of the exemption, the D.C. DOH may have made it so a speaker who attends two conferences in one year has to receive licensure in the District, even when they typically engage in detailing in another, far off, state like Montana.
As we stated earlier in the year, it is nice to have one less regulation to worry about, but this new definition almost makes more work than no exemption does. District managers, speakers, and others who visit twice (or more) a year for a day or two at a time may find themselves only able to stop in once per year or run the risk of running afoul of the law.