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November 24, 2010

Academic Medical Centers' Conflict of Interest Policies

JAMA. 2010;304(20):2294-2295. doi:10.1001/jama.2010.1714

During the past 4 years, a number of academic medical centers (AMCs) have taken the lead in implementing new policies that more strictly manage the relationships between physicians and industry.1 Transforming once-entrenched practices, the new measures prohibit accepting gifts, food, and drug samples and restrict faculty consulting and speaking arrangements. Although many faculty members believe these changes are long overdue, others complain that the policies sully their reputations and reduce their income. Because the measures break new ground, uncertainties about their short- and long-term consequences are widespread. In this Commentary, we discuss accomplishments at the leading institutions and evaluate prospects for future change.