Letters Section Editor: Stephen J. Lurie,
MD, PhD, Senior Editor.
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
Egilman DS, Ehrle LH. Handling Conflicts of Interest Between Industry and Academia—Reply. JAMA. 2003;289(24):3240. doi:10.1001/jama.289.24.3240-a