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January 11, 1993

Medical Ethics—Industry and Realism

Arch Intern Med. 1993;153(1):121. doi:10.1001/archinte.1993.00410010141016

Once again, we find an editorial1 accompanying an article discussing ethical guidelines regarding relationships between physicians and pharmaceutical companies.

Quite frankly, there is no better example of Chicken Little than the sudden finding of "ethics" regarding physicians or physicians in training and pharmaceutical companies. First, one wonders why pharmaceutical companies themselves are singled out and not all medical companies in general. Apparently, the author of this particular editorial finds no problem with device companies.

As a practicing physician for the last 20 years, I am at the least insulted by any author's insinuation that my medical decision making can be altered by such simple things as a meal or a gift. While this may occur in a small minority of physicians, I doubt very strongly that the vast majority of us are influenced in any particular fashion.

Somehow, the message routinely comes across that it is a "crime" to

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