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Many Docs Don't Mind Taking Gifts From Industry: Study
Date:6/21/2010

Most don't think they're influenced by corporate marketing

MONDAY, June 21 (HealthDay News) -- Although the landscape is changing, many doctors do not have a problem with taking gifts or participating in corporate marketing, a new study shows.

This includes gifts, free samples from drug companies and collaboration with hardware manufacturers to help develop new devices, as well as accepting meals and travel expenses, the researchers added.

"We found small but significant different attitudes across specialties in attitudes towards industry," said lead researcher Dr. Deborah Korenstein, an associate professor of medicine at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City.

"Independent of these small differences, we found physicians tend to continue to have very positive attitudes in spite of increasingly negative attitudes towards these interactions on the part of government and the public," she said.

For doctors, this is a tricky area, Korenstein said. "Particularly in regard to surgeons, who have very collaborative relationships with industry," she said.

The report is published in the June issue of the Archives of Surgery.

For the study, Korenstein's team surveyed doctors and trainees in 11 hospitals participating in the Mount Sinai School of Medicine consortium.

Of the 590 doctors and medical students who responded, their attitudes toward industry were mostly positive, the researchers found.

In fact, 72.2 percent said that industry-sponsored lunches were appropriate. However, 74.6 percent said large gifts were unacceptable. They also believed that other doctors, not them, were more likely to be influenced by gifts and food from industry.

"But people don't recognize the extent to which they may be influenced," Korenstein said.

Among those queried, surgeons and medical students had more positive attitudes toward industry than others. They w
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