Advertisement

Syndicate

Physician Resources Home arrow Medical News arrow Gaps in conflicts of interest policies among medical schools
Gaps in conflicts of interest policies among medical schools
Written by NetDoc.com Medical News Feed   

CHICAGO—A minority of U.S. medical schools surveyed have adopted policies on conflicts of interest regarding financial interests held by the institutions, while at least two-thirds have policies applying to financial interests of institutional officials, according to a study in the February 13 issue of JAMA.

Discuss this article on the forums. (0 posts)

 

Institutional academic-industry relationships exist when academic institutions or their senior officials have a financial relationship with or a financial interest in a public or private company. "Institutional conflicts of interest (ICOI) occur when these financial interests affect or reasonably appear to affect institutional processes. These potential conflicts are a matter of concern because they severely compromise the integrity of the institution and the public’s confidence in that integrity," the authors write. They add that these conflicts may also affect research results. The Association of American Universities (AAU) and the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) have recommended policies regarding ICOI.

Susan H. Ehringhaus, J.D., of the Association of American Medical Colleges, Washington, D.C., and colleagues assessed the extent to which U.S. medical schools have adopted ICOI policies. The authors conducted a national survey of deans of all 125 accredited allopathic medical schools in the U.S., administered between February 2006 and December 2006, and received responses from 86 (69 percent).

The researchers found that 38 percent (30) of survey respondents have adopted an ICOI policy covering financial interests held by the institution, 37 percent (29) are working on adopting an ICOI policy covering financial interests held by the institution, and 25 percent (20) are not working on adopting such a policy or do not know.

"Much higher numbers are reflected for ICOI policies that cover the individual financial interests of officials: with adoption of policies for senior officials (55 [71 percent]), midlevel officials (55 [69 percent]), institutional review board (IRB) members (62 [81 percent]), and governing board members (51 [66 percent]); and with adoption of policies being worked on for senior officials (9 [12 percent]), midlevel officials (12 [15 percent]), IRB members (6 [8 percent]), and governing board members (2 [3 percent])," the authors write.

Most institutions treat as potential ICOI the financial interests held by an institutional research official for a research sponsor (43 [78 percent]) or for a product that is the subject of research (43 [78 percent]). The majority of institutions have adopted organizational structures that separate research responsibility from investment management and from technology transfer responsibility. The researchers add that gaps exist in institutions informing their IRBs of potential ICOI in research projects under review.

"While acknowledging that adoption of ICOI policies is not a simple task and is dependent on, among other factors, highly interactive institutional databases and the active involvement of faculty, administrative officials, and the institution’s governing board(s), it is problematic that more schools do not have more comprehensive policies in place," the authors write.

"The gaps in coverage suggest the need for continuing attention by the academic medical community to more consistently and comprehensively address the challenges presented by ICOI."
(JAMA. 2008;299[6]:665-671.

Editor's Note: Please see the article for additional information, including other authors, author contributions and affiliations, financial disclosures, funding and support, etc.

EDITORIAL: ACADEMIC MEDICAL CENTERS AND FINANCIAL CONFLICTS OF INTEREST

In an accompanying editorial, David J. Rothman, Ph.D., of Columbia University, New York, comments on the findings of Ehringhaus and colleagues.

"It is fair to ask whether it is naive to trust institutions to monitor and discipline their own financial activities, particularly when the financial returns can be substantial. Licensing agreements on patents generate close to $2 billion per year for academic research centers … At a time when federal research funding is declining and competition for philanthropic gifts is intensifying, universities may not be eager to promulgate policies that would restrict their freedom to maneuver."

"Will government regulation step in to fill the vacuum? Current federal and state interests in industry-academy relationships provide reason to believe so. Congressional hearings are addressing the implications of industry support for continuing medical education, gifts to clinicians, the sale of physician-prescribing data, and pharmaceutical company efforts to intimidate researchers critical of their product(s). Currently, 8 states and the District of Columbia have laws or resolutions affecting marketing of pharmaceuticals," Dr. Rothman writes.
(JAMA. 2008;299[6]:695-697.

Editor's Note: Please see the article for additional information, including financial disclosures, funding and support, etc.

Discuss this article on the forums. (0 posts)

 
< Prev   Next >

Common Diseases

Swine Flu - Updates and information on H1N1 2009 (AKA Swine Influenza) pandemic.

Ankylosing spondylitis - Current protocols for diagnosis and treatment options.

Wegener granulomatosis - Autoimmune etiology and clinical course.

Diabetes - disease and management information, including diagnosis, typical treatment plans and diabetes supplies.

Advertisement

Medical Careers

The US medical jobs market has stayed hot for health care providers. Whether you believe that a provider shortage is in the offing or that the ratio of physicians-to-patients is too high, physician jobs and nursing jobs abound.

A wide variety of medical jobs can be found in the netdoc health care job listings. Particular strengths include permanent and locum tenens physician jobs, nursing jobs across the US, and radiology positions.

Other resources include physician salary information, medical career guidance, and the ability to post physician jobs.

Polls

When hiring your medical practice office manager, what was the most important consideration?
 
Copyright 2005 - 2019 Medical Resource Group, LLC. All rights reserved.