College group urges ban on drug, devicemaker freebies

The association representing U.S. medical colleges has come out with a proposed ban on pharma and device-maker gifts on medical college campuses. The group, the Association of American Medical Colleges, would like to prevent drug and medical device companies from handing out free food, gifts, travel and ghost-writing services on these campuses, not only to doctors, but also to staff members and students. To protect patients who need free samples, it's recommending that medical schools set up centralized systems for accepting the samples.

The group also thinks med schools should discourage their faculty from participating in industry-funded speaker's bureaus, under which doctors get paid to promote the benefits of key drugs and devices. While any of the nation's 129 medical colleges would be free to ignore the proposal, most are likely to follow its lead, observers say.

To learn more about the proposal:
- read this article in The New York Times

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