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July 18, 1990

A Call About Erythropoietin: Conflict of Interest or Investment Opportunity?-Reply

JAMA. 1990;264(3):334. doi:10.1001/jama.1990.03450030050017

In Reply.—  In its opinions on conflicts of interest, the Council on Ethical and Judicial Affairs recognizes the potential for abuse when physicians own stock in pharmaceutical companies whose products they prescribe.1 The Council has stated that physicians should not permit their financial investments to influence their prescribing of drugs, devices, or appliances.1To protect against the potential for abuse, the Council has issued several guidelines for physicians who own stock in pharmaceutical companies, including giving the patient the opportunity to use an alternative drug if one is available.1 In addition, in cases in which the financial interests of the physician conflict so greatly with a patient's interests as to be incompatible, the physician should relinquish the financial interest or make alternative arrangements for the patient's care.