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    "When many cures are offered for a disease, it means the disease is not curable" -Anton Chekhov

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    Tuesday, September 12, 2006

    Pens, No. Money, Yes: Stanford University is taking a strong stance against drug company influence:

    Stanford University Medical Center 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.

    ....The new policy, which takes effect Oct. 1, would also prohibit doctors from 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, with some exceptions. Doctors buying medical equipment would have to report any financial relationships with equipment suppliers and could be excluded from the decision-making, the university said.

    .....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.

    Such interactions are especially important at Stanford, where many professors have been involved in starting or advising companies in nearby Silicon Valley.

    The medical school’s more than 700 faculty members disclosed 299 potential conflicts related to their research last year, The San Jose Mercury News reported in July. More than a third of the school’s administrators, department heads and other leaders had some financial interests related to their research, the newspaper said.

    A Stanford spokeswoman said having a financial interest is not necessarily a conflict if the faculty member is not providing patient care.

    But that financial interest certainly can color the interpretation of results, a much more far-reaching consequence of drug industry influence than pens and pizza.

    posted by Sydney on 9/12/2006 08:21:00 PM 2 comments


    I guess they will also ban pharma groomed "Key Academic Thought Leaders" from receiving honoraria for flitting around the world spreading the good news.

    It's called addressing the wrong problem.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:41 AM  

    I'm sorry, but are doctors really that easily influenced? That would be truly pathetic if it were true. Am I supposed to believe they are making decisions about my life just because their eyes happen to light on a pen or coffee cup?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:27 PM  

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