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this week in Jama - Industry and University Medical collaboration

Posted by Scott R on 3/19/02 at 16:50 (076862)

'For example, the past decade has seen a growing number of university presidents and medical leaders who accept appointments to health-related corporate boards of directors, thus assuming fiduciary responsibilities on behalf of their stockholders. This role is in direct conflict with student and patient welfare and the overall mission of the university, not to mention the message it sends to faculty, researchers, and physicians. Angell2 asks, 'How can they [academic medical institutions] justify rigorous conflict-of-interest policies for individual researchers when their own ties are so extensive?' She also warns, 'The incentives of the market-place should not become woven into the fabric of academic medicine.'

Researchers and medical leaders confront a similar conflict in accepting stock options for consultancies and positions on corporate science advisory boards. Another conflict arises when scientists retain their faculty status yet take their inventions off campus, establish a for-profit entity, or assume a leadership role. These 'moonlighting' arrangements should be prohibited by institutions receiving taxpayer support.
....
The Bayh-Dole Act of 1980 changed the way university research could be transferred to the private sector. Previously, patents resulting from subsidized research, such as the polio vaccine, became public domain. University faculties now actively seek commercial relationships and pursuit of profit while retaining the unique benefits of academic institutions.

... Faculty members also sit on the boards that award grants, determine the material presented at meetings, and serve as gatekeepers for journals. Competitive ideas and challenging criticisms risk suppression by academic entrepreneurs.

These and other abuses may be exacerbated by the rush for financial gain. All of the parties universities, industry, and the public will ultimately be diminished as academic integrity and objectivity are sacrificed in the names of institutional interdependence and expediency.

A study found that more than half of the members on the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advisory committees 'have financial relationships with pharmaceutical companies that have an interest in FDA decisions.

Re: this week in Jama - Industry and University Medical collaboration

Ed Davis, DPM on 3/23/02 at 16:46 (077329)

Whew. How do we solve this? I really wish that all researchers, when publishing, would be required to list all potential conflicts of interest.

There is an interesting website on the subject of Aspartame (Nutra-Sweet).
I am one of those people who tolerate Aspartame poorly. According to the website, that substance was extensively studied. Most of the research came out in favor but was sponsored by the manufacturer, Searle. Interestingly, most of the research that was independent was negative.
The website author does a good job in pointing out the financial relationships. Have not looked at the site in a long time--will look it up--interesting reading an a good example of how financial relationships can influence academia.
Ed

Re: this week in Jama - Industry and University Medical collaboration

Ed Davis, DPM on 3/23/02 at 16:56 (077331)

That link is http://www.holisticmed.com/aspartame/100.html
Ed

Re: this week in Jama - Industry and University Medical collaboration

Ed Davis, DPM on 3/23/02 at 16:46 (077329)

Whew. How do we solve this? I really wish that all researchers, when publishing, would be required to list all potential conflicts of interest.

There is an interesting website on the subject of Aspartame (Nutra-Sweet).
I am one of those people who tolerate Aspartame poorly. According to the website, that substance was extensively studied. Most of the research came out in favor but was sponsored by the manufacturer, Searle. Interestingly, most of the research that was independent was negative.
The website author does a good job in pointing out the financial relationships. Have not looked at the site in a long time--will look it up--interesting reading an a good example of how financial relationships can influence academia.
Ed

Re: this week in Jama - Industry and University Medical collaboration

Ed Davis, DPM on 3/23/02 at 16:56 (077331)

That link is http://www.holisticmed.com/aspartame/100.html
Ed