Blog | Thursday, December 12, 2013

QD: News Every Day--15 conflict-of-interest policies updated for academic medical centers

An updated list of 15 conflict-of-interest policies was released to guide physicians at academic medical centers.

The Pew Charitable Trusts convened an expert task force on conflicts of interest in medicine to assist academic medical centers in identifying best practices to incorporate into their conflict-of-interest policies. The panel reviewed the literature and consulted experts in order to create an updated list of recommendations to those established by the Association of American Medical Colleges in 2008.

The best-practice recommendations are:
1. No gifts or meals of any value should be accepted from the medical industry.
2. Faculty should be required to disclose all industry relationships that relate to their academic activities.
3. Faculty should not accept industry funding for speaking engagements related to health.
4. Continuing medical education should not be supported by industry.
5. Medical staff and students should not attend promotional or educational events that are supported directly by industry.
6. Sales representatives should not be allowed access to any faculty or students.
7. Medical device representatives to patient care areas should be limited to in-service training and technical assistance on devices and other equipment already purchased and then only by appointment and with patient consent, if needed.
8. Conflict-of-interest education should be required for all medical students and staff.
9. Conflict-of- interest policies established by academic medical centers should apply to all faculty members.
10. Fellows, residents and students may not accept industry-sponsored fellowships but may compete for industry fellowships awarded for scientific training.
11. Authors should follow the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors standards for authorship and contributorship. Ghostwriting and honorary authorship are strictly prohibited.
12. Faculty and trainees should be permitted to engage in consulting relationships with pharmaceutical and device companies about research and scientific matters.
13. Academic medical faculty and trainees should be prohibited from engaging in consulting relationships for marketing.
14. Pharmaceutical samples shouldn’t be accepted with “compelling circumstances” and then only with mechanisms in place that prevent their use as marketing tools.
15. Voting members of pharmacy and therapeutics committees should not have a financial relationship with industry, or when they do, they need to recuse themselves from voting on the products, related products or competitors. All committee members should disclose financial relationships with pharmaceutical and medical device companies, as should practitioners requesting changes or additions to the institution’s formulary.

The recommendations appear at the Pew Charitable Trusts website, and a shorter version appears in the December 2013 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.