If you’ve been to Primary Care Lecture recently, you may have noticed a tall, dapper gentleman standing in front of the spread of Charro Chicken – that’s the Spiriva guy, a frequent guest by the medicine department to provide food during Primary Care Lecture. They organize Primary Care Lecture Series during the 2nd half of the year and do NOT have a PharmFree policy like we do.
In fact, in January 2009, we saw a new policy (entirely voluntary, mind you) put out by the pharmaceutical industry itself that limits its interactions with physicians. You will see much less Pharm swag; Pens, pads, squishy stress balls will be a thing of the past. Also, the policy states that FOOD MAY BE provided but as part of an educational or informational event by the rep. Technically, since the Spiriva guy has no relation to the topic of PCLS (unless it is of course about COPD), his provision of food violates the pharm companies’ own policy. Just something to think about. Here is the policy: http://www.phrma.org/files/PhRMA%20Marketing%20Code%202008.pdf
And in case you were wondering, PharmFree policies such as ours are mainstream. AMSA has put together a very nice Scorecard that describes the policies of nearly all medical schools. The culture of medicine is, in fact, changing, and you lack of exposure to drug reps is becoming the norm. Visit http://www.pharmfree.org/ for more info.
As you also know, I am just about to purchase a subscription to the Medical Letter, on behalf of EVERYONE in the department, with the money we have “earned” though the CoMed study with Marcy. You will see how the Medical Letter will be integrated into your education in the near future.
I hope this adds some clarity to our policy and spurs some conversation, something we havent had regarding this topic in a while.
Thanks for reading.