Tuesday, January 6, 2009

No Mugs, but What About Those Fees

From MindFreedom:

New pharmaceutical industry guidelines should stop most drug

companies from distributing a wide range of trinkets and office

supplies designed to keep their brand names before doctors as a

subliminal inducement to prescribe high-priced drugs.

The new code, which kicked in on New Year's Day, bars the free

distribution of everything from pens to coffee mugs and staplers by

some 40 drug companies that have agreed to the restrictions. That may

seem like small potatoes, but in the aggregate the promotional

products probably cost about $1 billion a year, as Natasha Singer

reported in The Times. The updated rules are the industry's latest

attempt to restore public confidence that doctors are prescribing

medicines in the patient's interest. The code still has too many


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