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September 3, 2003

Cost and Quality of Industry-Sponsored Meals for Medical Residents

JAMA. 2003;290(9):1150-1151. doi:10.1001/jama.290.9.1150-a

To the Editor: There have been ongoing concerns about the costs of gifts from the pharmaceutical industry to physicians, and whether such gifts may influence their prescribing practices.1 In their recent guidelines about entertainment and gifts, the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) stated that "in connection with [informational] presentations or discussions, occasional meals (but no entertainment/recreational events) may be offered so long as they: (a) are modest as judged by local standards; and (b) occur in a venue and manner conducive to informational communication and provide scientific or educational value."2 The American Medical Association and the American College of Physicians have published similar guidelines that call for limits on the value of gifts.3,4