Do drug company logos influence medical students?

Many medical schools are in the midst of purging pharmaceutical companies from their halls.

But can subtle marketing tactics can influence perceptions of prescription drugs?

It depends on where you trained.

A recent study looked at fourth-years, some of whom were exposed to pharmaceutical-branded clipboards and pens. At the University of Miami, which has a less restrictive policy towards drug companies, students preferred the brand name cholesterol medication Lipitor over its generic counterpart, simvastatin.

The same study was done at the University of Pennsylvania, where attitudes are harsher towards the pharmaceutical industry. Surprisingly, the results were reversed. Students there who were exposed to branded pens and clip boards preferred the generic drug instead.

So perhaps, by taking a harder line, schools can play a role in shaping the perceptions of the next generation of physicians.

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