Letters Section Editor: Robert M. Golub,
MD, Senior Editor.
In Reply: We agree with Dr Patmas that disclosure
to patients would be appropriate. Ms Hampson and Dr Emanuel raise an important
issue by asserting that “consulting to the investment industry by physicians . . . is
not a conflict of interest.” There are differences in the type of conflict
of interest for traditional pharmaceutical and device companies compared with
the investment industry—the latter is far more complex. A physician
supplying advice may invest in the investment fund or have an interest in
the fund, such that compensation relates to the fund’s profitability.
Furthermore, the physician may invest in a particular company that represents
a holding in the fund. Any of these relationships set up direct financial
conflicts of interest.
Topol EJ, Blumenthal D. Physicians Advising Investment Firms—Reply. JAMA. 2005;294(15):1897-1898. doi:10.1001/jama.294.15.1897-c