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Pharmaceutical companies pay for lunch at doctor’s offices in exchange for a pitch

In the past few years, pharmaceutical companies have been under growing scrutiny as to the types of perks they can offer physicians during the course of sales pitches. More recently, extravagant dinners and golf outings have been banned. The new wave of buttering these doctors up is the “free lunch” according to a New York Times article.

The old adage there’s “no such thing as a free lunch,” holds true in these cases as the pharmaceutical sales reps provide lunches for the entire office as long as they can simultaneously pitch particular drugs while lunching with the docs. Buying lunch for the office fits within the pharmaceutical companies’ guidelines of approving “modest meals in the course of business” but may curry more favor and influence than one would think.

For example, when the University of Michigan Health System banned industry lunches last year, officials calculated that they had been worth $2.5 million in sales revenue for drug companies annually.

For the full article.

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