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:
- Prescribe drugs, devices, and other treatments based solely on medical considerations, patient need, and reasonable expectations of effectiveness for the particular patient.
- Dispense drugs in their office practices only if such dispensing primarily benefits the patient.
- Avoid direct or indirect influence of financial interests on prescribing decisions by:
- Declining any kind of payment or compensation from a drug company or device manufacturer for prescribing its products, including offers of indemnification.
- 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
Visit the Ethics main page to access additional Opinions, the Principles of Medical Ethics and more information about the Code of Medical Ethics.