AMA Journal of Ethics®

Illuminating the art of medicine

Journal of Ethics Header

AMA Journal of Ethics®

Illuminating the art of medicine

Virtual Mentor. November 1999, Volume 1, Number 3.

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The Value of Industry Gifts to Physicians

Medical trivia about industry gifts to physicians.

  • A pen, of the kind that drug companies commonly distribute to physicians, can cost as little as 25 cents if you purchase 10,000 of them from a product catalog.
  • A disposable penlight, another gift commonly distributed, costs approximately $2.50 at university bookstores.
  • The average cost of a dinner at a 4-star restaurant such as Charlie Trotter's in Chicago, is $100 per person, excluding drinks and gratuity.
  • Physicians who are more aware of guidelines about gifts from industry are more likely to view such gifts as inappropriate [1].
  • The AMA's Council on Ethical and Judicial Affairs' Policy E-8.061 provides specific guidelines about what are appropriate and inappropriate gifts to physicians from industry. (See also Addendum to E-8.061)


References

  1. Gibbons RV, Landry FJ, Blouch DL, Williams FK, Lucey CR, Kroenke K. A comparison of physicians' and patients' attitudes toward pharmaceutical industry gifts. J Gen Intern Med. 1998;13:151-154. Abstract available at: PubMed. Accessed October 15, 1999.
  2. Hopper JA, Speece MW, Musial JL. Effects of an educational intervention on residents' knowledge and attitudes toward interactions with pharmaceutical representatives. J Gen Intern Med. 1997;12:639-642. Abstract available at: PubMed. Accessed October 15, 1999.
  3. Madhavan S, Amonkar MM, Elliott D, Burke K, Gore P. The gift relationship between pharmaceutical companies and physicians: an exploratory survey of physicians. J Clin Pharm Ther. 1997;22:207-215. Abstract available at: PubMed. Accessed October 15, 1999.
  4. Beary JF III. Pharmaceutical marketing has real and proven value. Characteristics of materials distributed by drug companies: four points of view. J Gen Intern Med. 1996;11:635-636.
  5. Stryer D, Bero LA. Characteristics of materials distributed by drug companies. An evaluation of appropriateness. J Gen Intern Med. 1996;11:575-583. Abstract available at: PubMed. Accessed October 15, 1999.
  6. Wolfe SM. Why do American drug companies spend more than $12 billion a year pushing drugs? Is it education or promotion? Characteristics of materials distributed by drug companies: four points of view. J Gen Intern Med. 1996;11:637-639.
  7. Rosner F. Pharmaceutical industry support for continuing medical education programs: a review of current ethical guidelines. Mt Sinai J Med. 1995;62:427-430. Abstract available at: PubMed. Accessed October 15, 1999.
  8. Mainous AG, Hueston WJ, Rich EC. Patient perceptions of physician acceptance of gifts from the pharmaceutical industry. Arch Fam Med. 1995;4:335-339. Abstract available at: PubMed. Accessed October 15, 1999.
  9. Beary JF. Inappropriate drug prescribing. JAMA. 1995;273:455-456.
  10. Thomson AN, Craig BJ, Barham PM. Attitudes of general practitioners in New Zealand to pharmaceutical representatives. Br J Gen Pract. 1994;44:220-223. Abstract available at: PubMed. Accessed October 15, 1999.
  11. Patel JC. The gifts and trinkets to doctors: current practice in India and global trends in pharmaceutical industry. Indian J Med Sci. 1994;48:20-30.
  12. Reeder M, Dougherty J, White LJ. Pharmaceutical representatives and emergency medicine residents: a national survey. Ann Emerg Med. 1993;22:1593-1596. Abstract available at: PubMed. Accessed October 15, 1999.
  13. Lurie N, Rich EC, Simpson DE, Meyer J, Schiedermayer DL, Goodman JL, McKinney WP. Pharmaceutical representatives in academic medical centers: interaction with faculty and housestaff. J Gen Intern Med. 1990;5:240-243. Abstract available at: PubMed. Accessed October 15, 1999.

The viewpoints expressed on this site are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the AMA.