The Pittsburgh post-Gazette has a great article regarding doctors receiving large sums of money from companies that produce artificial knee and hip joints. The University of Pittsburgh medical center (UPMC) had several surgeons receiving thousands of dollars from several companies. The University realized this may be a ethics violation and created a new code of conduct that will take place in 2008. The Pittsburgh post-Gazette writes:
Dr. Barbara Barnes, a UPMC vice president and associate dean at Pitt's medical school. That's why the school and UPMC plan to release a revised code of ethics for doctors next week, set to go in effect in 2008. The code will govern interaction between doctors and representatives from the pharmaceutical and biotech industries, forbidding doctors from accepting most gifts, trips and freebies.
I am all for surgeons making an honest living and they should be compensated for their skills and talents. I would not like to see them tempted to prescribe an inferior product because they were receiving an income, bonus or kickback from the manufacturer. Remember tenet number one "do no harm". And as Dr. P. says do not sleep with your clients!