The gift relationship between pharmaceutical companies and physicians: An exploratory survey of physicians

S. Madhavan, M. M. Amonkar, D. Elliott, K. Burke, P. Gore

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Scopus citations


The purpose of this exploratory study was to survey physicians' attitudes surrounding the 'gift relationship' between pharmaceutical companies and physicians. A survey was mailed to 1000 randomly selected West Virginia physicians of which 283 (28.3%) responses were received. The most commonly received gifts reported by the study physicians were trinkets (77.4%) followed by books (41.7%) and meals (41%). Principal component analysis and varimax rotation identified seven physician belief constructs. The mean ratings of the constructs indicated that the physicians slightly agreed that pharmaceutical companies give gifts to physicians to influence their prescribing, moderately disagreed that they do so as a form of professional recognition of physicians, and strongly disagreed that their prescribing behavior could be influenced by the gifts they receive. Physicians slightly disagreed that pharmaceutical companies' sponsoring of CME programmes are only promotional gimmicks. Although the study physicians slightly disagreed that it may be inappropriate for them to accept gifts from pharmaceutical companies, they seemed slightly averse to having 'gift relationships' between pharmaceutical companies and physicians made public. Correlation analysis suggested that physicians who have a large number of patients in their practice, see a larger number of patients per day, or write a large number of prescriptions pe day are more likely to be offered gifts by pharmaceutical companies, and they are also more likely to condone the practice of gift giving and receiving.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)207-218
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Clinical Pharmacy and Therapeutics
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1997


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