Med school group pushes curbs on industry gifts

As reported by Modern Healthcare:

Academic medical centers should accelerate their adoption of policies to better manage and, if necessary, prohibit industry gifts, free drug samples and sponsored educational programs that could create conflicts of interest or undermine standards of professionalism, according to a report issued by an Association of American Medical Colleges task force.

The report has been posted on the AAMC Web site and members have been encouraged to submit comments. Comments will be weighed by the AAMC Executive Council when it meets June 18-19 and considers making the report’s recommendations official policy.

The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America industry trade association said it will also pass on its comments. “Effective, responsible marketing by pharmaceutical research companies plays a critical role in fostering the appropriate use of medicines,” said PhRMA Senior Vice President Ken Johnson in a written statement.

The report recommendations, however, were not meant for the pharmaceutical industry alone. “Although the charge to the task force was focused on funding from the pharmaceutical and device industries, institutional policies on conflicts of interest should be comprehensive and encompass providers of equipment and services as well,” the report stated. “Concomitantly, industry should voluntarily discontinue those practices that compromise professionalism as well as public trust.”

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