BU hospital may tighten conflicts policy

One doctor's flouting of the rules has Boston Medical Center re-examining its conflict of interest policy. Hospital officials and Dr. Karen Antman, provost of the Boston University Medical Campus, are reconvening the committee that governs doctor relationships with industry, aiming to review not only industry speaking fees, but just how much control speakers have over their industry-funded presentations.

The conflicts of interest confab was prompted by Boston Globe reports detailing physicians' financial ties to Eli Lilly. One doctor, endocrinologist Elliot Sternthal, was paid $11,587.50 by Lilly during the first three months of this year. Upon reviewing his presentation, Antman determined that he didn't fully control its content. (Indeed, the Globe notes, Lilly's website states that the company provides the info presented by speakers and that the company provides slides and other materials as well.)

That lack of full control put Sternthal in violation of hospital policy, Antman said. He agreed to stop participating in Lilly's speakers bureau. Now, the hospital wants to make sure that it's doing enough to monitor doctors' industry-funded talks, a spokeswoman told the Globe. The conflicts policy could change accordingly.

- read the Globe story

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