Health Care Renewal discusses a disheartening development in the debate over the Massachusetts' law to ban drug companies from giving bribes--I mean, "gifts"-- to physicians. In the past, I wrote this rambling post about the issue, including links to several letters and editorials printed in the Boston papers. The latest article, published in the Boston Herald, quotes the head of GlaxoSmithKline's operation in the U.S. as implying that if the full legislature passes the ban (the State Senate has already done so), GSK will take their money out of Massachusetts and head to other states that do not "demonize" the pharmaceutical industry.
Yawwwwn. It's a threat we've heard before but it's actually quite embarrassing for GSK. Why does the company believe it needs to give pens and pizzas to doctors in order to get them to prescribe their drugs? Are their products so ineffective that bribery is the key incentive for their use? Read this excellent letter in rebuttal, written by Marco Cornelio, a medical student at Tufts. Cornelio writes, in part, "Instead of spending their money on such bribes, pharmaceutical companies ought to be using it for research to produce truly innovative, effective and safe medications."