Stephen J.LurieMD, PhDIndividualAuthor
To the Editor: Dr McCormick and colleagues1 found that residents' attitudes and behavior were
influenced by the amount of their exposure to pharmaceutical company representatives.
As a resident in a program that has a long commitment to independence from
pharmaceutical representatives, I support the authors' conclusions.
When patients ask me about the availability of complimentary samples
at our practice, I am proud to tell them of our policy barring pharmaceutical
representatives. We in the medical profession have primarily our integrity
to offer patients; without our patients' trust how can we expect them to follow
our advice for treatment or even to forgive us our human mistakes? When I
explain to my patients that my recommendations to them are based on studies
published with disclosure in journals and not on my gratitude for a "drug
lunch," they rarely complain about our lack of free medication.
Glazer JL. Pharmaceutical Representatives and Resident Physicians. JAMA. 2002;287(7):844. doi:10.1001/jama.287.7.839