Marketers for pharmaceutical and medical device companies actively pursue high-prescribing physicians. A study recently reported in the New England Journal of Medicine, indicated that most of the physicians questioned had a relationship of some kind with the industry in the previous year. Cardiologists received the most perks, while pediatricians and anesthesiologists received the least. Perks include paid invitations to events and reimbursement for costs to attend professional meetings and continuing medical education. Doctors may also get paid consulting fees and for enrolling patients in clinical trials. These interactions continue despite a code of conduct issued in 2002 by the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) to govern physician-industry relationships. Similar codes have been adopted by the American Medical Association and the American College of Physicians.
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