You can now read 5 articles in a month for free on BostonGlobe.com. Read as much as you want anywhere and anytime for just 99¢.

Red Sox Live

0

1

▲  4th Inning 0 outs

letters

Pharmaceutical gift ban is a protection that must be preserved

I was disappointed to read the remarks by a spokeswoman for Governor Patrick in support of lifting the pharmaceutical gift ban law in Glen Johnson’s Political Intelligence column on June 10. In the four years since the gift ban was enacted, patients have been protected from unethical marketing activities — activities that add unnecessary expense to each pill and lead to harmful patient outcomes when patients receive medication they may not need and experience serious side effects.

By banning pharmaceutical companies from treating doctors to lavish meals and extravagant conferences and requiring industry payments to be reported, the gift ban and disclosure law help ensure that physicians receive balanced and unbiased information on medications, new and old. As a result, patients are protected from drugs whose potential harms and side effects are not well understood, and physician prescribing is not skewed toward the latest and most expensive prescription drugs when generics or other equally efficacious drugs are available.

Continue reading below

Massachusetts has been a pioneer in curbing the drug industry’s influence on physicians and preventing industry from dictating what is best for our health. We should all oppose any attempts to repeal this law, and should preserve our ability to access health care free from conflicts of interest.

Dr. Gordon Schiff

Jamaica Plain

The writer is associate director of the Center for Patient Safety Research and Practice at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School. His views here are his own.

Loading comments...
Subscriber Log In

We hope you've enjoyed your 5 free articles'

Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.

  • High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
  • Convenient access across all of your devices
  • Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
  • Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
  • Less than 25¢ a week
Marketing image of BostonGlobe.com
Marketing image of BostonGlobe.com
Already a subscriber?
Your city. Your stories. Your Globe.
Yours FREE for two weeks.
Enjoy free unlimited access to Globe.com for the next two weeks.
Limited time only - No credit card required!
BostonGlobe.com complimentary digital access has been provided to you, without a subscription, for free starting today and ending in 14 days. After the free trial period, your free BostonGlobe.com digital access will stop immediately unless you sign up for BostonGlobe.com digital subscription. Current print and digital subscribers are not eligible for the free trial.
Thanks & Welcome to Globe.com
You now have unlimited access for the next two weeks.
BostonGlobe.com complimentary digital access has been provided to you, without a subscription, for free starting today and ending in 14 days. After the free trial period, your free BostonGlobe.com digital access will stop immediately unless you sign up for BostonGlobe.com digital subscription. Current print and digital subscribers are not eligible for the free trial.