Much has been written about the influence of pharmaceutical and medical device industry marketing on the decisions of healthcare providers. It is well established and, at this point, old news that industry marketing has an influence on physicians’ prescribing practices even when those who are affected are unaware of this influence.1,3 Industry marketing comes in many forms. Advertisements in professional journals, advertisements on television and radio, product detailing by industry representatives, and industry-sponsored continuing education are just some of the ways pharmaceutical and medical device companies market their products.

Some of these tactics come with gifts attached: the now infamous “free lunch” offered for those who attend an education session, the pens and pads of scratch paper inscribed with the product name and corporate logo handed out at professional conferences, the all-expense-paid trip to an exotic location where a corporation-sponsored educational conference is being held.


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