Med. school-industry links revealed

Financial relationships between industry and the nation's medical schools and large teaching hospitals are widespread, according to a linkurl:study;http://jama.ama-assn.org/cgi/content/abstract/298/15/1779 published in the October 17 issue of JAMA. This may not be surprising to some, but this the first study to quantify the prevalence of such relationships in the country's academic medical institutions. Researchers and physicians from Mass. General Hospital, the University of Michigan, and the

Bob Grant
Bob Grant

Bob started with The Scientist as a staff writer in 2007. Before joining the team, he worked as a reporter at Audubon and earned a master’s degree in science journalism...

View full profile.


Learn about our editorial policies.

Oct 21, 2007
Financial relationships between industry and the nation's medical schools and large teaching hospitals are widespread, according to a linkurl:study;http://jama.ama-assn.org/cgi/content/abstract/298/15/1779 published in the October 17 issue of JAMA. This may not be surprising to some, but this the first study to quantify the prevalence of such relationships in the country's academic medical institutions. Researchers and physicians from Mass. General Hospital, the University of Michigan, and the linkurl:Association of American Medical Colleges,;http://www.aamc.org/ surveyed department chairs at 140 of America's leading medical academic institutions and found that 60 percent of the respondents reported some personal connection to industry. Department-wide relationships with industry were even more prevalent, with 80 percent of clinical departments and 43 percent of non-clinical departments reporting at least one connection to industry. The majority of respondents said that either departmental or personal financial ties to industry did not affect the successful management of academic institutions - in terms of recruiting...
tp://jama.ama-assn.org/cgi/content/abstract/298/15/1779 published in the October 17 issue of JAMA. This may not be surprising to some, but this the first study to quantify the prevalence of such relationships in the country's academic medical institutions. Researchers and physicians from Mass. General Hospital, the University of Michigan, and the linkurl:Association of American Medical Colleges,;http://www.aamc.org/ surveyed department chairs at 140 of America's leading medical academic institutions and found that 60 percent of the respondents reported some personal connection to industry. Department-wide relationships with industry were even more prevalent, with 80 percent of clinical departments and 43 percent of non-clinical departments reporting at least one connection to industry. The majority of respondents said that either departmental or personal financial ties to industry did not affect the successful management of academic institutions - in terms of recruiting and retaining faculty, among other functions - or that the effect was positive. But the majority of respondents said that having a chair with some substantial ownership role in a start-up, with consulting ties, or with board membership in companies would have a negative effect on that department's ability to pursue independent, unbiased research. The study authors end with a call for increased linkurl:disclosure;http://www.the-scientist.com/article/display/21640/ and management of industry relationships in medical schools and teaching hospitals. From the paper: "Failure to address the existence and influence of industry relationships with academics institutions could endanger the linkurl:trust of the public;http://www.the-scientist.com/article/display/23813/ in US medical schools and teaching hospitals."

Interested in reading more?

Become a Member of

Receive full access to more than 35 years of archives, as well as TS Digest, digital editions of The Scientist, feature stories, and much more!
Already a member?