Monday, April 30, 2007

Physician-Industry Relationships

When Dr. George Hevesy was Project Medical Director at OSF, he was salaried by Advanced Medical Transport and OSF. Many in the central Illinois area considered this conflict of interest.

The New England Journal of Medicine (April 26, 2007) recently had an article titled Survey of Physician-Industry Relationships.

There are numerous "take-home" points from this article:

1. More than one-quarter of the physicians surveyed received payments for consulting, giving lectures, or enrolling patients in trials.

2. The possibility that companies may target opinion leaders for marketing is further suggested by the higher frequency of industry payments to physicians who have developed clinical practice guidelines and to those who have served as preceptors for doctors in training.

3. The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America implemented a code of conduct. This code states that the interactions between company representatives and physicians should primarily benefit patients and enhance the practice of medicine.

4. ...the high prevalence of physician-industry relationships underscores the need to consider their implications carefully.

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