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Friday 20 May 2011

CONFLICTS OF INTEREST ISSUE - "Strengthening Conflict of Interest Policies in Medicine." - Dr Lisa Cosgrove

Strengthening conflict-of-interest policies in medicine

    Lisa Cosgrove PhD(1),*,
    Harold J. Bursztajn MD(2)

Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice
Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice

Volume 16, Issue 1, pages 21–24, February 2010


    conflict of interest;
    disclosure policies in medicine


Rationale, aims and objectives  Conflict-of-interest (COI) policies have played a vital role in protecting the integrity of science as well as protecting patients' welfare. However, the usefulness of these policies could be enhanced by addressing gaps in disclosure requirements, especially insofar as these gaps may impede the intended neutrality of COI policies. For example, current COI policies have not addressed potential conflicts created by indirect industry funding, such as when pharmaceutical companies provide general funding to researchers' academic departments or to medical educational programmes. Nor do they address the consequent creation of climates of opinion, which may marginalize important criticisms and undermine progress on this important policy issue.

Methods  The authors used a critical thinking approach to analyze the gaps in existing COI policies.

Conclusion  Taking the position that a more adequate system of checks and balances is needed, the authors offer specific recommendations for improving current policies and for addressing the issue of indirect support.

Drug company ties(FROM WIKIPEDIA)

In his book Anatomy of an Epidemic (2010), Robert Whitaker described the partnership that has developed between the APA and pharmaceutical companies since the 1980s.[12] APA has come to depend on pharmaceutical money.[12] The drug companies endowed continuing education and psychiatric "grand rounds" at hospitals. They funded a political action committee (PAC) in 1982 to lobby Congress. The industry helped to pay for the APA's media training workshops. It was able to turn psychiatrists at top schools into speakers, and although the doctors felt they were independents, they rehearsed their speeches and likely would not be invited back if they discussed drug side effects. "Thought leaders" became the experts quoted in the media. As Marcia Angell wrote in The New England Journal of Medicine (2000), "thought leaders" could agree to be listed as an author of ghostwritten articles, and she cites Thomas Bodenheimer and David Rothman who describe the extent of the drug industry's involvement with doctors. The New York Times published a summary about antipsychotic medications in October 2010.


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