February 16, 1994

Gifts From Industry: Laundering Money or Supporting Education?-Reply

Author Affiliations

Council on Ethical and Judicial Affairs American Medical Association Chicago, Ill

JAMA. 1994;271(7):505. doi:10.1001/jama.1994.03510310035033

In Reply.  —As Dr Waud suggests, gifts to physicians from industry pose risks to the integrity of the medical profession. Indeed, when the American Medical Association Council on Ethical and Judicial Affairs issued its guidelines on gifts from industry,1 the Council observed that gifts may influence physician decision making, undermine the trust of patients in their physicians, and impose unfair costs on patients.2At the same time, the Council also recognized that gifts from industry often benefit patient care. Financial support for continuing medical education permits the medical profession to sponsor programs of higher quality and greater accessibility to practicing physicians than would be otherwise possible. Gifts from industry permit physicians at institutions like the University of Massachusetts Medical School to carry out important research projects.In its guidelines, the Council drew a careful balance between the benefits and risks of gifts from industry and developed guidelines that

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