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Johns Hopkins bans free drug samples, gifts from industry

Wall Street Journal Health Blog, April 9, 2009

Johns Hopkins is the latest big name in healthcare to try to restrict doctors' ties to the drug and device industries, implementing a new policy "on interaction with industry" that bans free drug samples and says doctors can't participate in consulting gigs in which they're essentially paid for not doing anything. The policy, which applies to Hopkins's medical school, hospitals and clinics, also prohibits gifts, entertainment or food from drug and medical device companies. It bars drug and device sales reps from patient-care areas, and says they're only allowed in other areas when invited by doctors or other staff. Donations from industry will have to be given to Hopkins itself rather than individual doctors.