MDs slash some drug co. ties amid rising scrutiny

November 8, 2010 By LINDSEY TANNER , AP Medical Writer

(AP) -- A survey shows doctors have sharply cut some financial ties to drug companies, thanks to increased scrutiny about those relationships.

Critics say drug company payments and freebies improperly influence .

The survey says the biggest change is in the number of doctors taking drug company money for attending medical meetings. Last year just 18 percent of doctors surveyed said they accepted those payments, versus 35 percent in 2004.

There was also a drop from 78 percent to almost 64 percent among doctors who accepted free drug samples. Patients may like getting free medicine, but those samples can affect doctors' prescribing habits.

Almost 2,000 were surveyed. The results appear in Monday's .

More information: http://archinte.ama-assn.org. Arch Intern Med. 2010;170[20]:1820-1826.

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