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Photo: CC-by-SA 3.0, Malcolm Koo

Evidence is mounting that doctors who receive as little as one meal from a drug company tend to prescribe more expensive, brand-name medications for common ailments than those who don’t.

 

A study published online Monday by JAMA Internal Medicine found significant evidence that doctors who received meals tied to specific drugs prescribed a higher proportion of those products than their peers. And the more meals they received, the greater share of those drugs they tended to prescribe relative to other medications in the same category.

 

The researchers did not determine if there was a cause-and-effect relationship between payments and prescribing, a far more difficult proposition, but their study adds to a growing pile of research documenting a link between the two.

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