Opinion

''A line between docs and drugs''

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"PRESCRIPTION drug companies develop, manufacture, and sell powerful medicines. Academic medical centers treat patients and train physicians. Both the drug industry and the teaching hospitals play essential roles in modern medicine, but their functions need to be kept separate, as they will be under a policy recently unveiled by UMass Memorial Medical Center in Worcester.

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This policy goes against a tradition of drug company largesse, but hospitals around the country are realizing that they can no longer serve as marketing adjuncts. In Massachusetts, a nonprofit coalition under the umbrella of the Prescription Project is shaping opinion to a strict standard. Last summer, Boston Medical Center adopted a policy similar to UMass's, although physicians can partake of free food off campus if they 'use discretion.'"

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