In keeping with physicians’ ethical responsibility to hold the patient’s interests as paramount, in their role as prescribers and dispensers of drugs and devices, physicians should:

  1. Prescribe drugs, devices, and other treatments based solely on medical considerations, patient need, and reasonable expectations of effectiveness for the particular patient.
  2. Dispense drugs in their office practices only if such dispensing primarily benefits the patient.
  3. Avoid direct or indirect influence of financial interests on prescribing decisions by:
    1. Declining any kind of payment or compensation from a drug company or device manufacturer for prescribing its products, including offers of indemnification.
    2. Respecting the patient’s freedom to choose where to fill prescriptions. In general, physicians should not refer patients to a pharmacy the physician owns or operates.
AMA Principles of Medical Ethics: II, III, IV, V

Code of Medical Ethics: Professional Self-Regulation

Visit the Ethics main page to access additional Opinions, the Principles of Medical Ethics and more information about the Code of Medical Ethics.

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