Scorecard Shows U.S. Medical Schools Continue to Make Progress in Pharmaceutical Conflict-of-Interest Policies
by Community Catalyst
April 24, 2013
The American Medical Student Association released its 2013 PharmFree Scorecard this month, continuing to pressure and encourage medical schools to improve their policies on conflicts of interest and interactions with industry. These policies have impacts on students’ medical education, the future of the medical profession and the care physicians provide. As patients we should be able to trust that decisions about our care are based on science and our best interests, not the marketing strategies of the pharmaceutical industry…Highlights of the 2013 AMSA Scorecard:
- 93 schools [59 percent] now have model polices prohibiting all gifts and on-site meals, up from 19 [12 percent].
- 79 schools [50 percent] have a curriculum on conflicts of interest, up from 12 [8 percent] in 2008.
- Schools with model policies on speaking arrangements have grown tremendously; 44 [28 percent] schools ban or severely restrict participation in speaker bureaus compared to 31 [20 percent] in 2011-2 and only 4 [2.5 percent] in 2008.
- Only 41 schools [26 percent] have a model policy in terms of disclosure, requiring personnel to disclose past and present financial ties with industry [e.g., consulting and speaking agreements, research grants] on a publicly-available website and disclosing these relationships to patients.
- Policies restricting industry support for Continuing Medical Education are now in place in only 28 schools [18 percent], but this is nearly double the number of schools in 2010.
- Access by pharmaceutical sales representatives remains a major challenge, with only four schools [2.5 percent] prohibiting sales reps from meeting with faculty and trainees regardless of location, or prohibiting sales reps from marketing their products.
… The 2013 AMSA PharmFree Scorecard, the NPA National Grand Rounds and the Community Catalyst Policy Manual are made possible by a grant from the state Attorney General Consumer and Prescriber Education Grant Program, which is funded by the multi-state settlement of consumer fraud claims regarding the marketing of the prescription drug Neurontin. Partners in the PACME project are AMSA, Community Catalyst, the National Physician’s Alliance, and the Pew Charitable Trusts.