South Carolina Board of Medical Examiners
LLR-Board of Medical Examiners
Approved by the Board:
October 16-17, 2000 Board meeting
Service Area: Medical
Subject: Sale of Non-Health Related Products
In accordance with the S.C. Code of Laws, Ann. Section 1-23-40, notice is hereby given that the South Carolina Board of Medical Examiners has adopted the following statement regarding the sale or promotion to patients of non-health-related goods or services from a licensed South Carolina physician’s practice site as guidance for physicians in the practice of medicine under the South Carolina Medical Practice Act and the Principles of Medical Ethics as adopted by the Board.
The sale or promotion of non-health-related goods or services by physicians presents a conflict of interest and threatens to erode the primary obligation of physicians to serve the interests of their patients before their own. This activity risks placing undue pressure on the patient and risks demeaning the practice of medicine.
A licensee shall be deemed to engage in dishonorable conduct by offering to sell or promote a non-health-related product or service to a patient from a location at which the licensee regularly practices the healing arts unless otherwise allowed as follows:
A licensee shall not be deemed to engage in dishonorable conduct by offering to sell or promote a non-health-related product or service if all of the following conditions are met:
- The sale or promotion is for the benefit of a public service organization.
- The sale or promotion does not directly or indirectly result in financial gain to the licensee.
- No patient is unduly influenced to make a purchase.
- Such sale or promotions are not a regular part of the licensee’s business.
- Such sales or promotions are conducted in a dignified manner.
A licensee shall be deemed to engage in dishonorable conduct if the licensee, at a location of regular practice of the healing arts, recruits or solicits a patient to participate in a business opportunity involving the sale or promotion of a product or service, or if the licensee requires the patient to recruit or solicit others to participate in a business opportunity, and the sale or promotion of the product or service directly or indirectly results in financial gain to the licensee.
Section 40-47-200(F)(8) of the South Carolina Medical Practice Act authorizes the Board to discipline a licensed South Carolina physician who is guilty of engaging in dishonorable, unethical or unprofessional conduct that is likely to deceive, defraud, or harm the public.