This is encouraging.  It should become regular practice in all medical institutions.  Giving doctors gifts influences their judgment and interferes with the doctor-patient relationship. 

From The Daily Pennsylvanian

By David Kanter, April 11, 2008

Medical institutions should follow HUP’s lead and prevent drug reps from influencing doctors with gifts

When you grow up in a medical professional’s home, you kind of get used to the fact that every pen and notepad is emblazoned with the name of a drug company or one of its high-priced prescription drugs.In my house, Pfizer always provided more pens than Bic.

But if this drug company “swag” blends so nicely into the scenery, why do drug companies continue to spend big bucks to ensure that every doctor in this country has his or her complimentary stress ball?

The answer is simple. Whether it’s because of unintended gratitude from recipients or any other type of unconscious conditioning, doctors who receive freebies tend to prescribe the drugs advertised on those products more often than other medicines.

“There is no doubt that doctors are influenced,” Arthur Caplan, director of the Penn Center for Bioethics, told me. “Drug companies wouldn’t do it if it didn’t work.”

Penn’s Hospital, however, is leading the way when it comes to limiting the influence drug companies have on our medical professionals.

A few years back, HUP implemented a stringent policy to address “pharmaceutical company representative activity.” Doctors and other medical professionals