Thursday, September 14, 2006

Window Dressing at Stanford

Stanford's New Conflict of Interest Policy: No Coffee Mugs and Pens, But Consulting Contracts, Directorships, and Stock Options are Fine

I'd like to take credit for the above headline and related story, but I can't. The credit goes to Health Care Renewal for the story on Stanford's much ballyhooed PR campaign, er, new prohibitions on interactions between affiliated physicians and the drug industry.

With much fanfare, as reported by the New York Times, Stanford University announced it will "prohibit its physicians from accepting even small gifts like pens and mugs from pharmaceutical sales representatives under a new policy intended to limit industry influence on patient care and doctor education." Also prohibited will be "accepting free drug samples and from publishing articles in medical journals that are ghost-written by industry contractors. The policy would also apply to sales representatives from makers of medical devices and other companies, not just pharmaceutical companies. Company representatives would be barred from areas where patient treatment and doctor education occur...."


"On the other hand, " The new policy does not cover consulting agreements between faculty members and companies aimed at developing drugs or medical devices. Those are governed by an existing conflict-of-interest policy."

Interested readers should follow the link to HCR's site for the full story.

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