Vitamin sales by physicians
This article was originally published in The Tan Sheet
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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American Medical Association voluntary guidelines adopted at the group's annual meeting in Chicago June 20-24 discourage physician in-office sale of "health-related products." The practice "presents a financial conflict of interest, risks placing undue pressure on the patient, and threatens to erode patient trust and the primary obligation of physicians to serve the interests of their patients before their own," an AMA report states.
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