Intended for healthcare professionals


US medical school faculty still break conflict of interest rules, report says

BMJ 2010; 341 doi: (Published 30 December 2010) Cite this as: BMJ 2010;341:c7435
  1. Janice Hopkins Tanne
  1. 1New York

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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