Study: Even small gifts influence doctors

When professionals talk about the influence of pharma or medical device gifts on doctors, most are discussing consulting fees, vacations disguised as CME classes and the like, not pens or sticky notes. But a new study suggests that even small gifts like pens or coffee mugs have an impact, too.

The study, which appears in The Archives of Internal Medicine, concludes that students from a med school where such freebies were allowed had a more favorable perception of a cholesterol drug than schools where such gifts were not permitted.

The researchers, who worked with 352 third- and fourth-year students at Penn and the University of Miami, assessed whether students had positive or negative views of the cholesterol drug Lipitor and competitor Zocor, which is available as a lower-cost generic. Students at Miami--where gifts are allowed--had stronger positive feelings when allowed to use promotional materials like Lipitor notebooks and clipboards, researchers concluded.

To learn more about the study:
- read this piece from The New York Times

Related Articles:
VT passes stiffer ban on industry gifts to providers
Medtronic to disclose gifts to healthcare groups
MedPAC mulls financial relationship disclosure rules
NJ mulls pharma, devicemaker gift reporting

Suggested Articles

The profit margins and management of Community Health Group raise questions about oversight of managed care insurers.

Financial experts are warning practices about the pitfalls of promoting medical credit cards to their patients.

A proposed rule issued by HHS on Tuesday would expand short-term coverage, a move Seema Verma said will have "virtually no impact" on ACA premiums.