Doctors should say no to free lunches


By Jim Giles Want to influence how doctors treat their patients? Just don a suit and bring a bag of doughnuts. Pharmaceutical sales representatives have for years been using such low-value gifts – as well as more blatant means, such as free trips to conferences – to persuade doctors to prescribe their particular brand of drug, and there is ample evidence showing it works. Unlikely as it sounds, doughnuts, pens, notepads and the like are effective weapons in the fight for market share among pharmaceutical giants. That fight, it seems, is becoming ever fiercer,
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