On December 3,1990, after a year of deliberations, the Council on Ethical and Judicial Affairs of the American Medical Association issued its opinion on gifts to physicians from industry. The opinion, which follows below, has been incorporated into the American Medical Association's code of ethics for the medical profession.
Many gifts that are given to physicians by companies in the pharmaceutical, device, and medical equipment industries serve an important and socially beneficial function. For example, companies have long provided funds for educational seminars and conferences. However, there has been growing concern about certain gifts from industry to physicians. Some gifts that reflect customary practices of industry may not be consistent with the principles of medical ethics. To avoid the acceptance of inappropriate gifts, physicians should observe the following guidelines:
Any gifts accepted by physicians individually should primarily entail a benefit to patients and should not be of substantial value. Accordingly,
McMurray RJ, Clarke OW, Barrasso JA, et al. Gifts to Physicians From Industry. JAMA. 1991;265(4):501. doi:10.1001/jama.1991.03460040077034
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