Academic Medicine

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Academic Medicine:
Medical School-Pharmaceutical Industry Interactions

Guidelines for Interactions between Clinical Faculty and the Pharmaceutical Industry: One Medical School’s Approach

Coleman, David L. MD; Kazdin, Alan E. PhD; Miller, Lee Ann MS, RPh; Morrow, Jon S. MD, PhD; Udelsman, Robert MD, MBA

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A productive and ethical relationship between the pharmaceutical industry and physicians is critical to improving drug discovery and public health. In response to concerns about inappropriate financial relationships between the pharmaceutical industry and physicians, national organizations representing physicians or industry have made recommendations designed to reduce conflicts of interest, legal exposure, and dissemination of biased information. Despite these initiatives, the prescribing practices of physicians may be unduly influenced by the marketing efforts of industry and physicians may inadvertently distribute information that is biased in favor of a commercial entity. Moreover, physicians may be vulnerable to prosecution through federal anti-kickback and false claims statutes because of potentially inappropriate financial relationships with pharmaceutical companies. Since academic medical centers have a critical role in establishing professional standards, the faculty of Yale University School of Medicine developed guidelines for the relationships of faculty with the pharmaceutical industry, which were approved in May 2005. Input from clinical faculty and from representatives of the pharmaceutical industry was utilized in formulating the guidelines. In contrast to existing recommendations, the Yale guidelines, which are presented as an Appendix here, ban faculty from receiving any form of gift, meal, or free drug sample (for personal use) from industry, and set more stringent standards for the disclosure and resolution of financial conflict of interest in Yale’s educational programs. The growing opportunities for drug discovery, the need to use medications in a more evidence-based manner, and preservation of the public trust require the highest professional standards of rigor and integrity. These guidelines are offered as part of the strategy to meet this compelling challenge.

© 2006 Association of American Medical Colleges


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