UC-Davis Medical Center Bans Drug Industry Gifts
UC-Davis Medical Center on Wednesday announced that it will no longer accept gifts from pharmaceutical companies, such as free drug samples and lunches, the Sacramento Bee reports. The changes will take effect July 1, 2007.
The new guidelines also will prohibit "preceptorships," pharmaceutical sales representatives accompanying physicians throughout the day.
The center will replace the free drug samples by providing free or discounted drugs to patients who meet income criteria.
Dr. Ralph deVere White, director of the medical center, said that his department expects to spend up to $70,000 to pay for meals for lunchtime meetings that were previously catered by drug companies.
The restrictions are the first in what could be a series of measures in the near future to prevent a marketing influence at UC-Davis Medical Center, according to the Bee.
The Pharmaceutical Researchers and Manufacturers of America stated in a recent policy announcement that the restrictions "would be a serious mistake," adding that its representatives are educated in ethics and regulatory guidelines (Griffith, Sacramento Bee, 11/30).