Michele J. Orza, ScD
The steady drumbeat of concern about conflicts of interest in all aspects of medicine continues. Legislation to require reporting in a public database of certain gifts and payments from drug and device manufacturers to physicians was introduced in both the Senate and House this year, and provisions from both bills have been incorporated into the health reform legislation currently under consideration by Congress.
This session was the second in a series intended to examine the vast and complex landscape of conflicts of interest in medicine, and it focused on the role of industry funding in physician education. Panelists reviewed and discussed studies of how people are influenced, transparency as a mechanism for managing the involvement of industry in physician education, deliberations and actions taken to reduce conflicts by organizations involved in educating physicians, and the recommendations of the Institute of Medicine Committee on Conflict of Interest in Medical Research, Education, and Practice. The speakers for this session are highly knowledgeable about and experienced with various aspects of the issue and brought different perspectives to the discussion.
Kevin P. Weinfurt, PhD, Associate Professor, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and Department of Psychology and Neuroscience, Duke Clinical Research Institute; David J. Rothman, PhD, President, Institute on Medicine as a Profession, and Bernard Schoenberg Professor of Social Medicine, Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons; Barbara E. Barnes, MD, Associate Vice Chancellor, Continuing Education and Industry Relationships and Associate Dean, Continuing Education, University of Pittsburgh, and Vice President, Sponsored Programs, Research Support, and CME, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center; Norman B. Kahn, Jr., MD, Executive Vice President and Chief Executive Officer, Council of Medical Specialty Societies
The Forum's first session exploring the issues with conflicts of interest in medicine was held May 15, 2009.
The following materials were distributed at the session:
- "Conflict of Interest in Medical Research, Education, and Practice"(IOM Report Summary, April 21, 2009)
- "Health Industry Practices That Create Conflicts of Interest: A Policy Proposal for Academic Medical Centers" [link available with subscription; Troyen A. Brennan et al., Journal of the American Medical Association, 295, no. 4 (January 25, 2006): pp. 429-433]
- "Professional Medical Associations and Their Relationships With Industry: A Proposal for Controlling Conflict of Interest" [link available with subscription; David J. Rothman et al., Journal of the American Medical Association, 301, no. 13 (April 1, 2009): pp. 1367-1372]
Additional resources about industry funding and medical education:
- "The Scientific Basis of Influence and Reciprocity: A Symposium" [American Association of Medical Colleges (AAMC), January 2008]
- "Industry Funding of Medical Education: Report of an AAMC Task Force" (AAMC, June 2008)
- "Code for Interactions with Companies" (Council of Medical Specialty Societies, April 21, 2010)