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Healthy Skepticism Library item: 19237

Warning: This library includes all items relevant to health product marketing that we are aware of regardless of quality. Often we do not agree with all or part of the contents.

 

Publication type: Journal Article

Hopkins Tanne J
US medical school faculty still break conflict of interest rules, report says
BMJ 2010 Dec 30; 341:
http://www.bmj.com/content/341/bmj.c7435.extract


Abstract:

ProPublica, an independent, non-profit investigative journalism project, reported that although medical schools have strengthened their rules about faculty members’ interactions with drug companies, some doctors still break their institutions’ conflict of interest rules.

The report is part of ProPublica’s Dollars for Docs project, which it launched in October 2010 ( BMJ 2010;341:c6026; doi: 10.1136/bmj.c6026 ).

The recent report said that some medical schools with tough conflict of interest policies were not checking to make sure faculty members followed the rules. It pointed to Stanford University, among others, saying that faculty members had not disclosed ties to drug and device companies.

ProPublica noted that Stanford University in California was one of the first medical schools to try to separate drug company influence from faculty. It banned sales representatives, stopped provision of free meals by drug companies, and pharma labelled devices, and last year forbade its doctors to give talks sponsored by drug companies. But, ProPublica noted in its story of 19 December, “more than …

 

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As an advertising man, I can assure you that advertising which does not work does not continue to run. If experience did not show beyond doubt that the great majority of doctors are splendidly responsive to current [prescription drug] advertising, new techniques would be devised in short order. And if, indeed, candor, accuracy, scientific completeness, and a permanent ban on cartoons came to be essential for the successful promotion of [prescription] drugs, advertising would have no choice but to comply.
- Pierre R. Garai (advertising executive) 1963