Pharmaceutical Company/Physician Interactions

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Physicians obtain much of their information about new drugs from pharmaceutical companies through company represen-tatives or advertising campaigns. Some believe that this is not appropriate because drug companies have a vested interest in presenting their products positively rather than in a balanced fashion.

In recent years, the controversies about the extent and appropriateness of pharmaceutical detailing and advertising have led to media attention and increased restrictions on how the interaction between physicians and the drug industry can occur. For example, the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education has set guidelines for interaction with industries and accredited continuing education. In spite of the controversies, physicians have voted with their feet, so to speak, and continue to interact with drug companies and other industries in their offices and at continuing education conferences and meetings.

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