Medical Schools: Stay Away From Drugmakers Bearing Gifts!

Last fall, I told you about the reprehensible actions drugmakers routinely take to court young, naive and time-challenged medical students. A paper featured in today's Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) urges medical school faculty to set a higher standard for students and their profession by staying away from drug company marketing efforts. That includes bans on gifts, free samples and direct financing of continuing education.

The obvious reason for the ban: The authors estimate some 90 percent of the cumulative $21 billion spent by drug companies on marketing -- taking direct-to-consumer advertising into account -- is spent on doctors.

Interestingly, this awesome USA Today piece points out new guidelines implemented by Yale University School of Medicine mirror those described in the JAMA paper. Nevertheless, most universities will have a tough time enacting ones of their own, considering some depend on those "gifts" for education.

If you ever wonder why I remain so focused on my vision to reform the sorry state of health care in America, this is a great example...

Journal of the American Medical Association, Vol. 295, No. 4, January 25, 2006: 429-433

USA Today January 25, 2006

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