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June 25, 2003

Handling Conflicts of Interest Between Industry and Academia—Reply

Author Affiliations

Letters Section Editor: Stephen J. Lurie, MD, PhD, Senior Editor.

JAMA. 2003;289(24):3240. doi:10.1001/jama.289.24.3240-a

To the Editor: In their discussion of institutional conflicts of interest, Dr Johns and colleagues1 observed that "trustees, presidents, chancellors, provosts, deans, [and] department chairpersons also have developed extensive financial ties with industry." They concluded that these conflicts "should be managed rather than eliminated." The authors, however, never discussed the central issue—how to manage this imbalanced relationship in which industry has considerably more resources and markedly different priorities than medical schools. Angell2 has asserted that "For-profit businesses are pledged to increase the value of their investors' stock. That is a very different goal from the mission of medical schools . . . academic medical centers should be wary of partnerships in which they make available their precious resources . . . to carry out research that serves primarily the interests of the companies. That is ultimately a Faustian bargain."

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