I’ve seen this tactic throughout my professional career. The gifts from pharma that I’ve seen ranged from exquisite meals (no lobster or clambakes, though I did have seafood salad once) to pens, to Post-Its, to glow in the dark balls. The best pharmacy gift I ever saw was a mug that said Haldol (a powerful antipsychotic, similar to Thorazine) on it. I remember sitting with my supervisor once going over cases while she was drinking coffee from a Haldol mug and thinking, “oh, if only…” 🙂
I’m glad to see that these practices are being questioned, although I’ll miss the gel pens I used to get from the people who sold Depakote.