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Assn. of American Medical Colleges Supports Drug Gifts Ban

Assn. of American Medical Colleges Supports Drug Gifts Ban

April 30, 2008

The Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) released a report this week calling on its member teaching hospitals to implement policies to regulate relationships between staff and students with the pharmaceutical and medical device industries. The two year Task Force on Industry Funding of Medical Education found that reliance on industry for gifts and other funding “influence[s] the objectivity and integrity of academic teaching, learning and practice” and the profession has an obligation to avoid conflicts of interest.

The report calls on teaching hospitals to:
•Ban all gifts from industry to physicians, other faculty and staff and students (both on-site and off-site), including all food and meals.
•Limit visits from sales reps to non-patient areas and by appointment or invitation of the physician only. Reps wishing to provide educational information about products should be allowed to do so only in supervised group settings that allow interaction and critical evaluation and should have an advanced medical or scientific degree.
•Prohibit faculty and students from accepting payments for attending industry-sponsored meetings and accepting travel funds (other than for legitimate reimbursement or contractual services).
•Prohibit physicians and students from allowing their oral and written presentations to be ghostwritten.
•Prohibit personnel with any financial interest in the pharmaceutical, device or equipment industry from participating in purchasing decisions.
•Strongly discourage participation of faculty in industry-sponsored speakers’ bureaus.
•Establish a central office to manage donations for continuing medical education and other educational funds.
•Implement ways to provide samples other than directly from physicians – such as through a central source in the hospital.

Makes sense to us. The report was unconditionally approved by all but three Task Force members – representatives from Pfizer, Amgen and Lilly.
Lisa Kaplan Howe