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May 2, 2017

Business Model–Related Conflict of Interests in Medicine: Problems and Potential Solutions

Author Affiliations
  • 1University of California, Los Angeles
  • 2Department of Social and Decision Sciences, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
JAMA. 2017;317(17):1745-1746. doi:10.1001/jama.2017.2275

Much current research and debate involving conflicts of interest in medicine focus on the appropriate level of physician interaction with firms in industries related to health care, such as pharmaceutical and medical device companies. The influential article by Brennan et al1 that led academic medical centers to take the lead in tackling problems caused by conflicts of interest focused almost exclusively on interactions between physicians and pharmaceutical companies. The 2009 Institute of Medicine report Conflict of Interest in Medical Research, Education, and Practice also limited its coverage of conflicts to interactions between physicians and pharmaceutical, medical device, and biotechnology companies. The American Medical Student Association “scorecard” grades conflict of interest policies at medical schools purely on the basis of how they regulate physician-industry relations.