[EAS] Academia and Industry

Peter J. Kindlmann pjk at design.eng.yale.edu
Sat Mar 7 17:19:42 EST 2009

from The Scout Report, March 6, 2009

Harvard Medical School takes a closer look into its conflict of 
interest policies

Harvard Medical School in Ethics Quandary [Free registration may be required]

Harvard Medical School To Meet To Address Conflict of Interest Policies

Nonprofit hospitals targeted on leader pay

Med school pares rules on conflicts of interest

AMSA PharmFree [pdf]

Association of American Medical Colleges Research: Financial 
Conflicts of Interest in Academic Medicine [pdf, iTunes]

In recent years, universities and other institutions have struggled 
to define conflict of interest agreements and rules that govern the 
relationships between their employees and various corporations and 
other organizations. Faculty and staff members at many medical 
schools have come under close scrutiny, and some have questioned the 
large consulting fees that certain persons have received from 
pharmaceutical companies. This week the New York Times reported that 
a group of medical students at Harvard University called upon the 
administration to reexamine the school's conflict of interest policy. 
The group of students has already met with some success as they have 
secured a requirement that all professors and lecturers disclose 
their industry ties in class.

David Tian, a first year student at Harvard's medical school 
commented, "Before coming here, I had no idea how much influence 
companies had on medical education." Harvard is not the only school 
looking into these matters, as other universities including the 
University of Minnesota Medical School have also been in the process 
of reevaluating their conflict of interest policies as of late.

The first link will take users to a story on the subject from this 
Monday's New York Times. The second link leads to a piece from the 
Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report which offers additional 
perspectives on the issue, along with some links to several other 
relevant resources. The third link will whisk users away to a piece 
from this Wednesday's Boston Globe which reports that Senator Charles 
Grassley of Iowa will be taking on the task of looking into the 
salaries of those persons who lead nonprofit hospitals.

Moving on, the fourth link leads to a news article from this 
Tuesday's Minneapolis Star-Tribune on the recent efforts to redraft 
the conflict of interest rules at the University of Minnesota Medical 
School. The fifth link will take visitors to the American Medical 
Students Association (AMSA) PharmFree website. Here visitors can 
learn about the Association's campaign to promote the "conscientious, 
explicit and judicious use of the current best evidence in clinical 
care", among other topics. The final link leads to the American 
Association of Medical Colleges (AAMC) page dedicated to providing 
information about industry funding of medical education, along with 
reports on individual financial conflicts of interest.

>From The Scout Report, Copyright Internet Scout 1994-2009.

Though the scale of these issues is largest at Medical Schools, they 
are increasingly woven into Engineering School educational contexts 
also.   --PJK

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