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Sep 21, 2009 11:03 AM by Associated Press

GlaxoSmithKline changes doctor training policy

British drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline PLC is making major changes in its spending on training programs for doctors, fees paid to doctors for consulting, and even political contributions.

The changes include immediate bans on all corporate political contributions and on using commercial medical education and communication companies to run programs teaching doctors about medical treatments.

Those programs often promote a drugmaker's new, generally expensive drug and give little information about its risks or how well it compares to older, cheaper drugs.

The moves come as congressional investigators, consumer groups and the media ratchet up criticism over the increasing influence drug and medical device makers wield over the practice of medicine.

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