Around 40 drug companies have agreed to stop sending doctors inducements such as branded pens and T-shirts.
Regulators fear that free gifts are influencing doctors to prescribe drugs that may not be the best for the patient.
The voluntary move has been made by members of the pharmaceutical industry in the US, and follows a new set of guidelines that are intended to counter suggestions that gifts have "an undue effect on medicine". So far, around 40 companies have said they will follow the new guidelines.
When they stop the 'essential medical conference' in Barbados, we'll start getting interested.
(Source: Lancet, 2009; 373: 93).