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    Tuesday, September 20, 2005

    Free Lunches, All Around: No Free Lunch is an organization that encourages doctors to forego drug company freebies, but, according to medical blogger Dr. RW, they've gotten a cold shoulder from medical professional societies. Sadly, my own - the American Academy of Family Physicians - appears to be among the worst offenders.

    The reason is simple - medical societies and professional organizations have come to depend on drug company money. They view the relationship as a partnership, and they don't want to offend their sugardaddies partners. That's why they always remind attendees at conferences to be sure to visit the sponsors' booths. Repeatedly.
    (via Grunt Doc)

    UPDATE: They changed their minds:

    In August, The AAFP rejected No Free Lunch’s application to exhibit at its annual meeting—which will be attended by some 5,000 family physicians and slightly fewer exhibitors—stating that No Free Lunch’s position was “not within the character and purpose of the Scientific Assembly.” This despite the fact that the Coca-Cola Company, The McDonald’s Corporation, and The Distilled Spirits Council of the U.S. were all allotted space in the hall, as were countless pharmaceutical companies.

    Many members were upset and even outraged that a society which they had supported for many years, and which gives industry almost unlimited access to physicians at its meetings, would not allow a small organization of health professionals to voice an opposing view. Allen Pelletier, for example, a family physician from Memphis, Tennessee, a long time AAFP member and newly elected fellow of the Academy, in an e-mail to AAFP CEO Dr. Douglas Henley, wrote “To my embarrassment, the organization that represents me as a practitioner and teacher of family medicine has shut down the possibility of open (and yes, critical) dialogue about how our practices are influenced by the pharmaceutical industry.” A family physician and AAFP member for 25 years from East Lansing, Michigan, wrote “. . . if an organization like No Free Lunch, well known for the role that it has played in encouraging awareness among physicians of the negative impact of pharmaceutical marketing, is denied the opportunity to set up a booth at the meeting, while commercial sponsors are encouraged to pay extra for more access to members and attendees, then the professional values of our specialty society have truly reached a new low.”

    No Free Lunch has accepted the AAFP’s invitation and plans to be present at the session which opens September 28 at the Moscone Center. Attendees are encouraged to visit The No Free Lunch booth, #1613, immediately adjacent to that of the California Table Grape Commission.

    Are free grape samples OK?

    posted by Sydney on 9/20/2005 08:27:00 AM 0 comments


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