Drugs and Money

Reviewing conflict-of-interest policies

Vol. 9 No. 4
February/March 2007

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Drugs and Money
Pharmaceutical companies, academic medicine, and the flow of funds and favors

Reviewing conflict-of-interest policies

Funds flowing in

"We accept money because we need to do clinical trials, and that's where the rubber meets the road in this conflict-of-interest business."

"I'm not under any illusion that [drug companies] give money for the sake of neuroscience. They won't do a study if the potential is there for the outcome to have a negative impact on marketing."


Bringing the Big Questions to the Community
Re-imagining the Gustafson Seminar

Multiversity or University?
Pursuing competing goods simultaneously

On the failure of roots and the strength of weak ties



In 2007, a task force appointed by Thomas Lawley, dean of the medical school, is slated to review the conflict-of-interest policies at the medical school and Emory Healthcare to determine if they need to be broadened or refined to better deal with an environment in which ties between the medical industry and academic medical centers are stronger than ever. According to Brenda Seiton, assistant dean for administration and director of the Conflict-of-Interest Committee at the medical school, the members will come primarily from faculty. One medical center that could serve as a model is Stanford, whose new conflict of interest policy is considered among the most restrictive in the country. It stipulates the following:

Faculty must disclose any personal financial interest related to their work, no matter how small.

• Unrestricted gifts for research support are considered donations and as such entitles the donor to no intellectual property rights or access to research results.

• Strongly advises faculty to accept no form of personal gift from industry under any circumstances.

• Individuals may not accept gifts or compensation for listening to a sales talk by an industry representative.

• Individuals are prohibited from publishing articles under their own names that are written in whole or material part by industry employees.

To see Stanford’s conflict of interest policy, visit http://med.stanford.edu/coi/documents/coi2006.pdf.

To see Stanford’s policy on interaction between staff and industry, visit http://med.stanford.edu/coi/siip/policy.html