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May 2014

Drug Samples in DermatologyOut of the Closet, Into the Dustbin

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Dermatology, The Permanente Medical Group Inc, Pleasanton, California
  • 2Department of Dermatology, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia
  • 3Department of Dermatology, University of California, San Francisco
  • 4San Francisco Veterans Affairs Medical Center, San Francisco, California
JAMA Dermatol. 2014;150(5):483-485. doi:10.1001/jamadermatol.2013.9711

Is drug sampling—when physicians give samples of prescription medicines provided by pharmaceutical companies to their patients—good or bad? Is the answer different for dermatologists than it is for other physicians?

Many dermatologists have already answered those questions: “bad” and “no.” Numerous institutions have banned or sharply restricted drug sampling, including the Veterans Health Administration, the US military, many universities, and Kaiser Permanente. Many private clinics have done so as well. Other organizations, including the Association of American Medical Colleges, the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, the Institute of Medicine, and the Joint Commission, have also recommended curtailing and/or controlling drug sampling. But those questions linger in other medical settings, including many private practices not subject to institutional antisampling policies.

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