The influence of pharmaceutical representatives on medical schools and, later, physicians has become a well-discussed topic. Some medical student organizations are lobbying to have their schools become pharma-free and individual training companies have promoted their ability to remain free of pharma influence. A recent article looked at the influence pharma has on medical schools.
A review by the Regenstrief Institute and the Indiana University School of Medicine looked at 12 prior studies from 1991 to current on the pharma influence in medical schools. They found that limited interaction or no interaction at all between medical schools and pharma companies were the most beneficial in terms of keeping future physicians free of bias.
"Not surprisingly, we found that the greatest impact medical schools had
on the interaction of medical students and residents with drug
companies was if the school banned all contact with company
representatives." ~ Aaron E. Carroll, M.D., M.S., Assistant Professor of Pediatrics (Children's Health Services)
Even in cases where pharma influence was present, when medical schools gave training sessions to go over the ways in which pharmaceutical companies might be influencing their decisions, the influence levels were lower than in cases where no training was present. These findings seem to support the theory that all medical schools should limit their pharma interaction to ensure freedom from bias while students are training.