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Gifts, Samples, and Transparency

Did You Know?

  • 83% of physicians receive some form of gift(s) from pharmaceutical companies (NEJM 2004)
  • “Regular contact” between doctors and drug reps that involve gifts include:  general gifts; samples; industry-paid meals; funding for travel; company-paid speakers; continuing medical education; and honoraria, research funding and employment (Wazana 2000)
  • Patients who receive free samples end up spending almost 40% more for their medication six months after receiving the sample and 20% more in the six months afterwards (Medical Care 2008)
  • Free samples tend to go to the wealthy, insured patients (Cutrona et. al. 2008)
  • 87% of authors of clinical practice guidelines have some sort of relationship with the pharmaceutical industry (JAMA 2002)

NPA’s Public Comments regarding Implementation of the Sunshine Act Provisions of the Affordable Care Act

More Reading:

  1. No More Free Drug Samples? (PLoS Med)
  2. Characteristics of Recipients of Free Prescription Drug Samples: A Nationally Representative Analysis (American Journal of Public Health)
  3. Thick Prescription: Toward an Interpretation of Pharmaceutical Sales Practices (Medical Anthropology)
  4. All Gifts Large and Small: Toward an Understanding of the Ethics of Pharmaceutical Industry Gift-Giving (American Journal of Bioethics)
  5. Physicians and the Pharmaceutical Industry: Is a Gift Ever Just a Gift? (JAMA)

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