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Family medicine residencies reject pharma relationships

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Family medicine resident programs in the U.S. have limits on drug industry interaction with doctors, and several shun doctor-company relationships altogether.

Those are the results of a survey by Georgetown University Medical Center and the American Medical Student Association, according to Medical Marketing & Media.

A 2008 survey of directors or coordinators of all 460 accredited family medicine residency programs drew responses from 62.2%. Over 52% said they refused drug samples, and industry gifts or food were declined by 48.6%. Sixty-eight percent said they did not allow industry-sponsored residency activities, and 44.1% denied industry access to students and residents at the family medicine center. Seventy-five residencies, 26.2% of those responding, were designated as “pharma-free.”

In contrast, a 1992 survey showed 90% of family medicine residencies allowed industry support, said Georgetown’s Dr. Adriane Fugh-Berman, M.D., who is also director of drug industry watchdog PharmedOut.

“Family medicine is leading the way in closing the door on pharma” said Dr. Fugh-Berman in a statement. “Our survey allows for comments, so we know that some residency programs report recent changes in plans or practices to limit industry interaction. Although some faculty and some residents are opposed to these limits, it’s clear that industry influence on family medicine residencies is waning.”

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