Harvard doc quits over conflicts policy

Some doctors oppose conflicts-of-interest rules that restrain their financial relationships with drugmakers. And others really oppose them. Just look at Dr. Lawrence DuBuske, an instructor at Harvard Medical School who practiced at Brigham and Women's Hospital. DuBuske, an allergy and asthma specialist, recently left Brigham and Women's--and Harvard--so that he could continue his paid work for GlaxoSmithKline.

Another doctor, as yet unidentified, also left the Partners HealthCare system affiliated with Harvard because of the hospitals' new conflicts-of-interest policy. Partners recently decided to bar its doctors from accepting speaking fees from drugmakers, among other restrictions.

In DuBuske's case, he would have had to give up a lot of income; according to GSK's recent disclosure of financial relationships with doctors, DuBuske collected almost $100,000 in speaking fees for presentations he gave during the second quarter of 2009. "He made a decision between terminating the relationship with Glaxo and terminating his relationship with the Brigham, to do the latter,'' Partners' Christopher Clark tells the Boston Globe. Will more follow suit? 

- read the Boston Globe news
- see the post at the WSJ Health Blog