Added by Tania Sullivan on September 16, 2010
Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) recently published a study underlining the effect industry gifts from pharmaceutical companies have on doctors.
The study establishes a hypothesis which states that doctors accept rewards given by companies to them for prescribing and favoring products in front of their patients thus, putting financial interest above patient care.
Control groups were created from three hundred and one pediatric and family medicine residents who answered series of questions about their opinion on accepting so-called gifts from pharmaceutical companies.
Before finishing their questionnaires one group was asked about the hardships they encountered in achieving their medical education. The other control group was asked as to how these gifts would justify any sacrifices and hardships they encountered during their period of medical education.
In order to establish the tough training period that doctors go through as a motive for accepting these kind of gifts, one further control group was asked about their level of acceptability towards industry gifts without bringing into discussion their educational period. The CMU study revealed that when mentioning the burdens of a medical education, the acceptability rate of doctors towards gifts more than doubled from 21.7 per cent to 47.5 per cent.
Also, CMU pointed out that if the above mentioned motive was suggested as opposed to mentioned, their willingness towards gifts increased with 60.3 per cent. Sunita Sah, the study’s lead author, concluded that with the give ‘powerful human capacity to rationalize what benefits us, it is unlikely that we will be able to make a dent in the problem by, for example, educating physicians about the risks posed by conflicts.”. domain archive