Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Pharmaceutical Companies Bribing Medical Students

My opinion:  This actually might be a bigger issue than I've realized.  I know that in many situations, professionals are not allowed to accept gifts from other groups or individuals, but I didn't know that they could do so with medical students.  I remember when I was shadowing at the hospital, and before meetings (which included about a dozen or so doctors), there would be representatives from drug companies or medical technology companies presenting their products.  These meetings would also have free food, although I don't entirely remember if it was brought by the doctors or the representatives.  Nonetheless, pharma really does reach out to the medical community, even in person.  I'm glad this study was done - I hope that this helps to remove some obstacles involved in diagnosing and treating patients.

From: http://www.boston.com/whitecoatnotes/2013/02/06/study-gift-bans-medical-school-affect-doctors-later-prescribing-patterns/jLkieCKS3et4AcvONiz3hN/story.html

Doctors who attended medical schools that limited gifts to students from pharmaceutical companies -- sponsored lunches, for example -- may be less susceptible to drug marketing, a study published last week in the BMJ found.
Researchers from Yale University looked at the prescribing practices of doctors who had attended one of 14 schools that were early adopters of such policies. They looked at how often the physicians prescribed Vyvanse or Invega, two heavily marketed drugs used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and schizophrenia, over older, similar drugs.
Compared with doctors who attended the same schools before the gift ban was in place and peers from other schools, the physicians were less likely to prescribe the two marketed psychotropic drugs.

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