Med schools tight with drug makers

You can't accuse pharma companies of failing to think ahead. They begin to forge links with future doctors before they even start med school. And according to a new study in the Journal of the American Medical Association, a clear majority of department chairs have personal relationships--consulting agreements and the like--with drug makers. Two-thirds of departments get equipment, funding and even money for food and drinks.

Three guesses which departments are most likely to have relationships with industry (hint: microbiology isn't one of them). That's right, clinical departments, such as medicine and psychiatry, are more likely to be linked to pharma companies.

Study author Eric Campbell, an associate professor at Harvard Medical School, said he sees no justification for involving drug companies in medical education. Schools need to come up with clear-cut rules governing any interaction, he says. But two-thirds of department chairs believe their relationships with pharma don't affect their performance--so why would they think they need to change?

- read the article from the Washington Post

Related Articles:
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No freebies? No entry for pharma reps. Report
Psychiatrists getting largest pharma gifts. Report
Groups plan new fight to limit pharma-doctor ties. Report
Thinking through pharma bans. Editorial

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