Welcome to 2009 and a new year for medical marketing! Today the pharmaceutical industry begins its voluntary moratorium on their branded gifts like pens, mugs, soap dispensers, bandages and everything else that can have a brand slapped on it. Many people feel it's a superficial gesture since it does nothing to reduce the millions of dollars spent to influence doctors (and millions more to influence patients).
There is an interesting nonprofit organization started by a doctor called No Free Lunch that encourages doctors to reject drug company giveaways. Our poor doctors still don't have to worry about going hungry because drug companies can still provide "free" lunches and dinners.
Let's hope that 2009 begins a year of real change in the medical community and they begin to reject the influence peddling from the pharmaceutical industry.