Forget tea and biscuits, why should doctors get any gifts from pharma companies?

01 August 2014

The Australian Medical Association (AMA) and medical specialist groups are currently debating public disclosure of gifts received by doctors from pharmaceutical companies. The bone of contention is how valuable the freebies need to be before the doctor has to declare them. The debate has arisen in the context of a review of Medicines Australia’s Code of Conduct – a document produced collectively on behalf of the Australian pharmaceutical industry to guide the behaviour of member companies. In keeping with similar moves overseas, Medicines Australia is proposing to mandate disclosure of gifts and payments to doctors, starting in 2015, and is currently seeking stakeholder input into the technicalities of such a move.