Questions for critics of honoraria

LETTER — Posted Feb. 13, 2006

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Regarding "Buy your own lunch" (Article, Jan. 16): I would like to ask physicians who advise all other doctors to refuse industry honoraria:

  • Do the physicians themselves take honoraria to speak at CME programs? Also, how much for each; and what is the total for a year?
  • Do the physicians realize that the vast majority of doctors do not let these CME luncheons unduly influence their decisions on drug use?
  • Do the physicians know that it is not a free lunch? Doctors give up time with patients and family, unlike academia who are on salary and have their time subsidized by the university.
  • Do the physicians realize that university-employed doctors are influenced by bias of grants given by drug companies?
  • Do the physicians understand that samples given to doctors help them evaluate drugs before writing prescriptions?

I am tired of holier-than-thou attitudes by some academic doctors and appreciate those doctors who are honest, both in private practice and at the university, as well as the drug representatives who are ethical and provide a service to all.

Martin Daitch, MD, West Bloomfield, Mich.

Note: This item originally appeared at http://www.ama-assn.org/amednews/2006/02/13/edlt0213.htm.

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