No more free lunches: Summary of rapid responses

BMJ 2003; 327 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.327.7410.342-c (Published 07 August 2003) Cite this as: BMJ 2003;327:342
  1. Caroline White, freelance medical writer
  1. London E17 4SQ

    EDITOR—Many of the 100 plus contributors to the editorial by Abbasi and Smith were indignant.1 Wasn't it stating the obvious? Clearly drug companies would not spend vast sums on persuading doctors to prescribe their drugs if they didn't think these tactics paid off. But doctors are more than capable of resisting the blandishments of drug company sales representatives and seeing through the inducements of lavish corporate hospitality, they contended.

    Disentanglement from drug companies whiffed of utopian sanctimoniousness, others fumed, and ignored both the realities of working in the NHS—where continuing medical education languishes at the back of the financial priorities queue—and the inevitability of a profit driven, commercial world. It's a question of “mindful practice” suggested one correspondent. And many felt the several …

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