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Vitamin sales by physicians

This article was originally published in The Tan Sheet

Executive Summary

Sale of vitamins in physicians' offices is "ethically suspect," according to American College of Physicians-American Society of Internal Medicine guidelines published in the Annals of Internal Medicine Dec 7. The position paper, "Selling Products Out of the Office," maintains "vitamin supplements...are neither emergent treatments nor unlikely to be available elsewhere." The sale of such products in doctors' offices also "may affect the trust necessary to sustain the patient-physician relationship," the paper states, thus physicians should fully disclose any financial interest in selling the products and offer alternatives. In June, the American Medical Association House of Delegates adopted voluntary guidelines discouraging physician in-office sales of health-related products (1"The Tan Sheet" July 5, p. 7)

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