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January 6, 1999

Sale of Goods From Physicians' Offices

Author Affiliations

Margaret A.Winker, MDIndividualAuthorPhil B.FontanarosaMD, Senior EditorsIndividualAuthor


Copyright 1999 American Medical Association. All Rights Reserved. Applicable FARS/DFARS Restrictions Apply to Government Use.1999

JAMA. 1999;281(1):34. doi:10-1001/pubs.JAMA-ISSN-0098-7484-281-1-jbk0106

To the Editor: It was gratifying to read the American Medical Association's statement on the sale of non–health-related goods from physicians' offices, generally condemning this practice. However, the sale of certain "health-related" items should also be scrutinized.

Anecdotally, I have noticed the sale of high-dose vitamin and mineral supplements from physicians' offices. The excess mortality observed in the Alpha-Tocopherol Beta Carotene Cancer Prevention Study2 and the Beta-Carotene and Retinol Efficacy Trial3 in groups receiving vitamin supplementation for chemoprevention should give pause not only to physicians who recommend supplements in the absence of demonstrated benefit from well-designed randomized controlled trials but also to those who peddle these products.

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