Added by David Sandercock on November 10, 2010
U.S. doctors’ uncomfortable closeness with drug makers continues even as Harvard University and Massachusetts General Hospital research indicates that extent of contact has come down.
Close to 95% of all participants in the national survey in 2004 admitted that they had some type of relationship with drug makers. This figure has come down to 84% in 2009.
70% accepted food or beverages, 66% accepted samples and 14% accepted payment for services rendered. This year saw a significant decline as compared to past figures.
The earlier study had indicated that samples, free lunches, payment for services and even for attending medical continuing education programs was very common.
This led to government and academic organization outcry to break the unholy link. Lawmakers sought to restrict influence of drug manufacturers after noted practitioners of medicine were found in the wrong for not disclosing payments received from drug companies.
The outcry seems to have worked after average monthly meeting has fallen from three to two. However, the general consensus is that the figure is still very high.
Arguments given by doctors who say that they are not attracted by freebies doesn’t cut the ice. Critics point out that drug companies would not utilize resources unless they were benefiting from the transaction.