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 [1-13].
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)
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.
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.
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.