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Pharma gifts to med students and residents still common

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted March 11, 2013

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More than half of medical students and residents have received gifts from drugmakers or other industry companies, says a study in the February Journal of General Internal Medicine.

Fifty-seven percent of fourth-year medical students said they got gifts such as meals and drug samples, as did 54% of residents. About two-thirds of the survey respondents said interactions with pharmaceutical representatives offered valuable education, according to the study (link).

Fifty-three percent of medical schools ban gifts and on-site meals from industry, according to the most recent American Medical Student Assn. PharmFree Scorecard, released in March 2012 (link).

That figure is up from 8% of medical schools with gift bans in 2008, when AMSA started tracking the issue. Even at schools with bans, sales representatives still can provide meals off-campus or outside the hospital setting.

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