The Ties that Bind

The Ties Between Pharma & Academic Med Centers

 Want to know how much a drugmaker paid a doctor at an academic medical center? How about the amount of samples dropped off? Or the access given sales reps? Well, The Institute on Medicine as a Profession, or IMAP, has launched what it calls the first database of its kind to let everyone – you and me – review and compare conflict of interest policies among the nation’s 125 academic medical centers.

The data base will be a “one-stop resource to help users identify what academic institutions are doing or not doing to limit the influence of drug and device makers on medical practice and will offer users a toolkit on how to implement strong policies,” according to a statement. Take a look.

The site will focus on 12 key areas that some AMC’s are supposedly examining to regulate relationships with drug and device makers – gifts; meals; drug representative access; samples; purchasing committees; continuing medical education; consulting and honoraria; scholarships and travel; ghostwriting; speakers’ bureaus; enforcement; and implementation.

An analysis in last week’s Journal of the American Medical Association found that AMCs are increasingly adopting COI policies without any backlash from faculty or industry. At least 25 AMCs have embraced policies to regulate industry relationships, and faculty are overwhelmingly supporting those efforts, according to the paper, which was written by two IMAP officials.

IMAP is not rating or ranking AMCs, but does provide examples of “best practices” that feature model policies. IMAP, based at Columbia University’s College of Physicians and Surgeons, formed the database under the auspices of the Prescription Project, funded by the Pew Charitable Trusts. The site is also supported by a grant from the Attorney General Consumer and Prescriber Grant Program.

Conflict of Interest Policy Database

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