The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center has proposed a
policy banning pens, drug samples and almost all other swag from pharmaceutical
and medical equipment representatives.
The draft policy would apply to faculty, staff and students
of UPMC and the university’s Schools of the Health Sciences and other professionals and
With the policy, Pitt would join a growing list of academic
medical centers restricting drug company promotion, even small gifts like pizza
and pens. These schools include the University
of Pennsylvania, Yale University and the University of Michigan.
Last year Stanford University took the added
step of extending the limits of its own new pharma gift rules to informal, unaccredited educational events,
as well. Pitt is planning to do the same, Frank Raczkiewicz, acting director of the UPMC News Bureau, told MM&M.
"The same rules would apply to all educational programs, whether or not CME
credit is being given," Raczkiewicz said in an e-mail.
In order to mitigate the effect of banning drug samples on uninsured
and low-income patients, UPMC officials are considering creating a database of
manufacturer assistance programs and investigating the feasibility of a voucher
program that would allow patients to obtain medication at no cost, according to
the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
The UPMC policy could go into effect by early next year.