Restrictions for physician's gifts
I do not believe that it's too restrictive. I believe these rules were set for a reason. A line has to be drawn somewhere; otherwise, people will always push the boundaries. So it makes sense to make it restrictive so when those boundaries are pushed, they are still within reason.
I agree that this is too restricted as it is very awkward paying for the physician but not his wife or partner. I understand that it makes sense that you pay only for the person doing business with However, I think these restrictions are necessary as many people will take advantage of it if it were not applied, and this is just a sign of respect. I think the restrictions should be loosened up a bit. The company should be allowed to pay for the physician and his wife as long as it’s under a reasonable price range $150-$200. That way we eliminate having companies taking advantage of this. They won’t be able to bribe them with trip to Tulum, but they’ll be able to show a nice gesture.
Gifting policies are in place for reasons, specifically to void lawsuits, creating any sort of incentives/briberies, nor biases.
I think as well, if they brought a family member or plus one, if it not business related, they should not be paid for as well, nor even there. I do understand that inviting their plus one is out of courtesy, but paying for them is not allowed due to the reasons specified earlier.
I would have to agree with @zmh4, these restrictions are put in place to ensure proper business is conducted which means that only the necessary parties are required to attend. I don't see much value that a spouse could bring to a business agreement if they are not also part of the business itself. Should a party want their spouse to attend they should be aware of the financial cost associated with it no matter how awkward the situation may feel. The best way to avoid such situations would be to only have the involved parties attend the dinner.
Very good question! I was getting trained on 'lawsuits and bribery issues' at my new job a couple months earlier and I thought it the same way. But then I realized that breaking one small rule can lead to breaking a big one and in the long run, the culture of the company would go down eventually. Therefore, they could be flexible in paying for the wife's dinner and then someone could probably come up with an idea of gifting something other than healthcare products, for example, a movie ticket. I have heard these scenarios happening and then it turns out that company's can encounter favoritisms more often. Therefore, in order to avoid this, they have to keep these kind of strict rules and actually make sure to follow them so there's no room for favoritism and bribery.
It seems logical to me that these rules are in place. You could think it's a little too limiting, but they need to be there. My father was a doctor in India, and he told me stories of the perks that these large pharmaceutical corporations offered him in exchange for recommending their products. Every week, they used to throw dinners for the families of practically all of the doctors in various hotels of your choosing. They provided us with free trips to other cities and countries in order for the doctors to sell their medicine. The reason I feel this is acceptable is because, first and foremost, you should not bring your wife to work meetings because there may be secret information involved.
In this week's lecture, Dr. Simon mentioned some laws which restrict physicians to receive gifts from companies. The laws are Anti-kickback Statutes and Advamed Guidelines.
I agree with Naglaa. I am from the same area, where pharmaceutical companies highly influence physicians to use their products. Even, the product may not be the best of its quality. That eventually harms the patient's health. Therefore, I think it's been a great initiative to enforce those laws. Through these laws, medical devices and the pharmaceutical industry have no influence on physicians.
As discussed in this weeks lecture, physicians are restricted from giving and receiving gifts unless of nominal value. This is because providing physicians with a gift may undermine the physicians obligation to provide fair services. I agree with the above posts that these laws are rather extreme and that it can still be considered ethical to accept a gift, especially if it is of nominal value. Additionally, I think it could actually be considered rude in some instances to reject a gift. At the same time, I think these laws do have some purpose and were created for good reason. The extremity of these laws might stem from the serious implications bribery has and its relevancy worldwide. It is very difficult to track and regulate bribery and as such it might be necessary to have these strict all or nothing kind of laws in place. I am curious about the history of these laws and does anyone think they might change in the future?
Although I think these restrictions may seem a bit overboard, I would have to agree that it is necessary. It is uncomfortable accepting these restrictions with the knowledge that this individual is helping achieve an important goal; however, I think that comes with the territory.
I do not think the restrictions are too strict. They were put in place for a reason, and it is necessary that they are followed. It is natural human nature for someone to want to award an individual who has worked so hard for something such as saving lives. However, boundaries should be set because awarding them could influence the standard of care or weaken the trust between the physician and patients.
I think this kind of restriction is quite necessary, in fact. Without the checks and balances in place, companies can essentially bribe willing doctors to speak highly of their products. Now I don't think paying for a simple business dinner to discuss topics pertaining to work is too horrible, the line needs to drawn at lavish gifts and free vacations for their families, or charitable "donations".
As I was listening to this week's lecture, it called my attention the fact that companies can only give gifts of 100$ to the physicians and those gifts have to be related to health. Additionally, Dr. Simon mentioned that whenever these people go have dinner to discuss the project and the doctor brings his wife, you can't even pay for the meal of the physician's wife. Don't you think that this too restricted? Paying for someone else's meal is the least you can do when that person is helping achieve something important. What do you think about this? Is there anything that could be done in order to improve this kind of awkward situations?
I think that these restrictions are set in place as to not bribe or influence the decision of the potential client, the physician. Taking the physician to dinner to discuss a project simply involves the person representing the company and the physician. This allows for the decisions or persuading to be done between the only parties that will be involved in making the decisions. Incorporating a spouse or family member of the physician could later lead to a conversation that could persuade them to either accept or deny the offer based on another opinion. All of which tends to lead to bad business deals. Also, as Dr. Simon mentioned the physician have a moral obligation to the patients they serve and if the physician is making a decision based on how elaborate the dinner was or how the company paid for his family to eat, I think it places less emphasis on whether the product would actually be worthwhile for their patients and more on how many amenities he/she can get from the company.
While the restriction that you cannot pay for a physician's spouse's meal does seem too restrictive, I think that it is good that it is there. My first reaction to hearing that in the lecture was, "wow, thats a little extreme, but when I thought on it a little longer, it made sense. Why is the spouse present during a meal specifically for the discussion of business to begin with? Creating that type of situation results in less of a business/professional relationship and a more friendly/casual relationship. This can lead to a more biased relationship as my peers have mentioned, where it would be easier to sell out/bribe the physician to push your product. Although it would be amazing, it would be naïve to think that there aren't doctors out there that would choose promoting a product with no "benefits" over a product that comes with "benefits," especially if there is no restriction on the "benefit". With the current state of the medical field, I can see how the more beneficial option would be enticing. Doctors are burning out really fast, insurance companies like to play doctor and reject the more expensive but correct treatment, just generally, it can be very overwhelming and difficult to practice medicine with a passion. I think the longer doctors work in this environment, the more callous/apathetic they can get. This could potentially make a percentage of them be open to accepting these gifts and bribes to push certain products because at the end of the day, they're just collecting checks. For these reasons, I think these types of restrictions are good because these "benefits" are less enticing.
Hi! I understand your opinion that the limitations placed on giving physicians gifts may be too restrictive. Even outside of a business situation, it’s understood that if you invite someone out to dinner expecting their help, you’ll pay for their meal. However, in a scenario where a medical device company sends one of its employees out to dinner with a physician hoping to work with that physician in the future, these restrictions are necessary. In my opinion, giving gifts to someone you want to work with kind of seems like you’re trying to buy your way into a partnership. This is especially true if you buy gifts for other people related to the physician, such as their spouse. In the scenario where the partnership includes using a new medical device on patients, bribing a physician into a partnership can actually be a bit unprofessional since a medical device can put lives at risk if it’s faulty or used incorrectly. As Dr. Simon mentioned in his lectures, partnerships between medical device companies and physicians are risky because irresponsible physicians may only think about monetary compensation. Thus, medical device companies need to remain cautious and not bribe their way into partnerships.
I have worked in the States and the middle-east in biomedical organizations. In the middle east, rather than having a restriction on the gift, meals, and so on; there would be a budgeted event that would include multiple physicians including their families and that way appreciation was shown to all without any exclusions. That way it is not intended for just one person and thus avoids the risk of any lawsuits arising.