No Mug? Drug Makers Cut Out Goodies for Doctors

Publication: The New York Times

Author: Natasha Singer


12/30/2008 - To Lehman Brothers, Linens ’n Things and the blank VHS tape, add another American institution that expired in 2008: drug company trinkets.

Starting Jan. 1, the pharmaceutical industry has agreed to a voluntary moratorium on the kind of branded goodies — Viagra pens, Zoloft soap dispensers, Lipitor mugs — that were meant to foster good will and, some would say, encourage doctors to prescribe more of the drugs.

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“We have arrived at a point in the history of medicine in America where doctors have deep, deep financial ties with the drug makers and marketers,” said Allan Coukell, the director of policy for the Prescription Project, a nonprofit group in Boston working to promote evidence-based medicine. “Financial entanglements at all the levels have the potential to influence prescribing in a way that is not good.”

Read the full article No Mug? Drug Makers Cut Out Goodies for Doctors on the New York Times' Web site.

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