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January 10, 2001

Free Meals From the Pharmaceutical Industry

Author Affiliations

Stephen J.LurieMD, PhD, Senior EditorIndividualAuthor

JAMA. 2001;285(2):164-166. doi:10.1001/jama.285.2.163

To the Editor: Dr Kassirer1 feels that drug-company sponsored lunches can taint physician judgment and thus discourages the practice. I agree that an expensive gift may create a conflict of interest, but there is much to say in defense of a free meal, especially in the community setting.

At our facility, lunch for a medical seminar is commonly sponsored by a drug company or a hospital. The meal is usually plain, but nevertheless provides an incentive for our staff to attend the meeting. We usually have a full house, and the staff end up learning something that may improve patient care.

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