Mission & Topics * Membership Information & How to Join * Terms & Conditions
Archive of Past Roundtable Discussions

Pharma Gifts to Physicians – Where’s the Real Conflict?

Date: Thursday, 9 February 2006
Time: 1:30 PM Eastern Time

In a recent JAMA article, “Health Industry Practices That Create Conflicts of Interest,” a group of influential doctors argue that free gifts, drugs and classes that pharmaceutical and medical device makers routinely give doctors undermine good medical care. The authors also urge a ban on such gifts.

The JAMA article authors suggest that the following gifts to physicians by pharmaceutical companies can create conflicts of interest:

  • Free drug samples
  • Free meals away from the office
  • Pharma-supported CME (free to physicians)
  • Payment for consulting relationships
  • Payment for travel to meetings or scholarships to attend meetings
  • Payment for participation in speakers bureaus
  • Free provision of ghostwriting services
  • Grants for research projects
  • Payment for attendance at lectures and conferences
  • Free lunch delivered to office in exchange for sales presentation

Moderator: John Mack


See the results of the Pharma Gifts to Physicians Survey, which asked respondents to rate the degree of conflict receiving such gifts might result.

Free Gifts to Physicians: What’s the Big Deal? Authors of a recent JAMA article recommend a ban on “gifts” from pharmaceutical companies to doctors. The authors — “a group of influential doctors” from major academic medical centers — claim that gifts pose challenges to the principles of medical professionalism. Pharma Marketing News hosted an online survey and a Pharma Marketing Expert Roundtable discussion on the topic of gifts to physicians. This article summarizes the findings of that survey and includes comments and insights from survey respondents and Roundtable members.

Topics covered include:

  • JAMA Article Calls for Ban on Gifts
  • Time to Ask the Experts — Results from the Pharma Gifts to Physicians Survey
  • Gifts with High Conflict Potential
  • Ghosts in the Machine
  • Speakers Bureaus Are on the Cusp
  • Gifts with Low Conflict Potential
  • Educational vs. Promotional Grants
  • Drug Samples: The “Mere Ownership Effect”
  • Greasing Access
  • Culpability on the Other Side
  • Suggestions for Change: Ethics and Best Practices