Top of the morning

The efforts of the pharmaceutical industry to buy influence with politicians are not a secret and their practice of showering physicians and their staffs with gifts and buffet lunches are well documented.

Increasing attention is now being paid to the influence of the industry on medical schools and their faculties—and the lack of policies to prevent it.

A recent report from the American Medical Student Association graded medical schools on their conflict of interest policies.  The school of medicine at UNC-Chapel Hill received a B, while the schools at Duke, Wake Forest,, and East Carolina all received a D.

The criticisms varied, but the comments about the problems at ECU’s Brody School of Medicine were typical of schools that didn’t do very well in the survey. The study says the safeguards at ECU

are not likely to significantly reduce the impact of pharmaceutical industry marketing and influence.

Wonder if the UNC Board of Governors is listening?

One Comment

  1. AdamL

    April 9, 2009 at 10:55 am

    That’s interesting — in the last scorecard Duke got a “B” and UNC had a “C-.” I wonder what changed?

    Of course, many of the most prestigious academic medical centers around the country completely bar drug sales reps and any free gifts, no matter how small. There is no excuse for our schools not to follow suit. Especially since we have documented evidence that Glaxo attempted to pressure a UNC med school researcher.