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Letter Ruling

Letter Ruling Letter Ruling 79-15: Medicine and Medical Devices: Blood Diagnostic Products

Date: 06/28/1979
Organization: Massachusetts Department of Revenue
Referenced Sources: Massachusetts General Laws

Sales and Use Tax


June 28, 1979

You request a ruling as to whether your blood diagnostic products are exempt "medicine" for purposes of the Massachusetts sales and use tax.

These products are used as a result of directives from physicians to evaluate patient conditions for various symptoms or disorders. Among these products are those which are used to type and group human red blood cells and to detect and identify typical and atypical red blood cells; to predict and monitor hemostatic deficiencies; to detect antibodies associated with infectious mononucleosis; and to test for hemoglobin S. You also manufacture a pregnancy test system based on the detection of human chorionic gonatotropin found in urine.

These products are normally used by laboratory technicians at the request of physicians. The laboratory reports assist the physician in predicting, diagnosing, applying treatment and monitoring therapy.

These products are not administered to the patients. They are administered to extracted body material such as blood and urine.

Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 64H, Section 6(1) exempts from the sales tax the sale "of medicine on prescriptions of registered physicians." It further exempts "sales of . . . blood or blood plasma."

Your diagnostic products are used for diagnosis and not for direct medication or treatment of patients under physician's direction or prescription. Your products are also not blood or blood plasma.

Based on the foregoing it is ruled that sales of your diagnostic products are not exempt from taxation under Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 64H, Section 6(1).

Very truly yours,

/s/L. Joyce Hampers

L. Joyce Hampers
Commissioner of Revenue


LR 79-15

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