Interactions with Pharmaceutical Companies
Table of Contents
The relationship between industries and the medical profession
is under increased scrutiny. While pharmaceutical and medical
device companies make many meaningful contributions to medical
education, there is potential for abuse and inappropriate benefit
to the medical profession. It is important to address the
public perception of this relationship, especially in graduate
medical education. Accordingly, the following ethical
guidelines will govern East Tennessee State University's Graduate
A. GENERAL RULES
- No industry name, logo should be visible on drug containers,
equipment, etc., in patient care areas. Pens and memo pads
are not inappropriate.
- Residents should not attend purely social events funded by
industry unless sponsored by the institution. Industry
funding for regularly scheduled institutional events (e.g.,
graduation, orientation) are acceptable, but no industry
presentations should be allowed.
- Release of resident information lists to industry by the
College of Medicine or individual departments should be done
carefully, and on a case-by-case decision, approved by the
appropriate institutional official (Chair, Dean, etc.).
Gifts to physicians from the medical industry should be:
- Related to healthcare
- Entail a benefit to patients
- Should not be of substantial value (less than $100), except
- Textbooks, when distributed by the department.
- Modest meals (associated with education), value less than
- Pens, notepads, desk items
- Drug samples for a physician and his/her family, if
derived from supplies available to other patients.
Inappropriate for a physician to request drug samples directly
from a drug
- Entertainment tickets
- Sporting events tickets
- Hunting, fishing trips
- Ski trips
- Golf outings
Meals provided by medical industry:
- Gathering must be primarily dedicated to education, science,
and should be of modest value (less than $50/person).
- Main incentive to meet is education.
- Topic of the meeting, any speakers, must be approved by the
institution, not industry.
- No formal presentation by the industry representative.
- Sponsoring representative/company may be recognized.
- Unobtrusive display by the representative/company is
- Accepting food not related to healthcare/education is
- Outside hospital dinners with a speaker selected by the
industry representative is inappropriate unless: 1) department
approves speaker, and; 2) cost of meal is modest (less than
- Meals for clinic staff/doctors appropriate only if related to
a planned meeting, presentation, etc., of an educational
Financial support of conference speakers is appropriate if:
- Money is given to the department, or organizing group.
- The speaker and topics are selected by the institution,
Industry funds paid directly to resident physicians for travel,
food, lodging to attend meetings is inappropriate. Grants to
the institution to support such educational travel is
Industry travel funds for resident physicians presenting at
meetings is allowed - a modest honorarium may be appropriate.
Such travel should be approved by the department Chair.
Industry may provide funds for residents to attend educational
conferences, if the money is given to the institution and the
institution selects the residents to attend the meeting.