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Is It Legal For Health Care Providers to Give Free Samples to Patients?

Posted by Tracy Green | Jun 21, 2018

Some physicians and health care providers welcome visits from pharmaceutical salespeople, while other physicians prefer not to directly engage with industry representatives. If you decide to make your practice accessible to salespeople, you probably will be offered product samples. Many drug and biologic
companies provide physicians with free samples that the physicians may give to patients free of charge.
It is legal to give these samples to your patients for free, but it is illegal to sell the samples. The Government has prosecuted physicians for billing Medicare for free samples. Opinions differ on whether sampling practices ultimately increase or decrease patients' long-term drug costs. If you choose to accept samples, you will need reliable systems in place to safely store the samples and ensure that samples are not commingled with your commercial stock.

About the Author

Tracy Green

Past recipient of the Public Counsel Law Center's "Outstanding Advocate" Award, Tracy Green is a founding partner of Green & Associates. She combines more than 25 years of experience with a strategic...

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