Prohibition on Acceptance of Free Pharmaceutical Samples

The Johns Hopkins Medicine Policy on Interaction with Industry prohibits the acceptance of pharmaceutical samples.  This prohibition also applies to vouchers, coupons and discount cards and has been in effect since July 1, 2011. 

The policy recognizes that sampling is a marketing strategy and that acceptance of manufacturer-provided pharmaceutical samples may interfere with a clinician’s prescribing practices because companies often sample the newest and most expensive medications.

When samples are necessary for patient education (e.g., instructing patients in the use of inhalers), they may be accepted, provided they do not carry the name of a company or the name of the company is covered.

JHM physicians and staff should inform patients about affordable options for obtaining medications such as pharmaceutical assistance programs and large retail chains.  In-house resources may also be available through JHM social workers.

For questions or additional information, contact the Office of Interaction with Industry.