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July 3, 1991

Gifts to Physicians From Industry

JAMA. 1991;266(1):61-62. doi:10.1001/jama.1991.03470010065015

To the Editor.  —The Council on Ethical and Judicial Affairs of the AMA1 has taken an important step toward clarifying the relationship between the medical service industry and physicians. Unfortunately, it is neglecting an important area of concern.Many university faculty members and prominent practicing physicians serve as paid consultants to major pharmaceutical houses and travel around the country giving seminars and educational conferences that are frequently, although not always, thinly veiled promotions for particular products. In doing so, they exercise their rights as individuals to contract for services, but they also abrogate their responsibilities as faculty members to pursue an impartial view of medical research and therapy.When they become agents of industry, they should be barred from serving on any major university or hospital committees that might cause a conflict of interest, such as pharmacy and therapeutics committees and committees that set standards of care or practice