Many thanks to Lisa Day and AJCC for publishing the Current Controversies column titled “Industry Gifts to Healthcare Providers: Are the Concerns Serious?”1 In the article, Day questions the appropriateness of healthcare providers accepting gifts from industries that support healthcare, such as pharmaceutical companies. She explains that anthropologists, who have studied gift exchange in this type of setting, concur that it is always seen as an exchange. If this were not the case, why would pharmaceutical and medical device sales representatives find it necessary to offer free lunches and free pens?

Although the notorious “free lunch” is the classic example of gifts that medical industry supporters frequently use, many others exist. Methods such as prescriber kickbacks, in which the prescriber actually gets paid to prescribe a certain drug, as well as all-expense-paid trips, are other techniques that influence...

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