Stanford probes docs for paid speeches

Stanford University Medical School is investigating 12 doctors for possible violations of its ban against paid speaking gigs for pharma. The school's disciplinary board is looking at payments listed in a ProPublica database of doctor-payment disclosures. "A review is under way," Stanford Med School Dean Phil Pizzo told the San Jose Mercury-News.

Pizzo was the one who instituted a ban against those paid speeches. ProPublica reports that, despite that ban, those 12 doctors accepted as much as $109,000 for speaking engagements from Big Pharma. "They now recognize what they did was wrong," Pizzo told the newspaper. "If we find someone who continues to violate policy, we will consider disciplinary action."

The news of the payments to Stanford doctors comes on the heels of praise from the medical students association, which last week gave the medical school an "A" for its strong conflicts of interest policy. But as NPR points out, even the strongest policy isn't worth much if it's not vigorously enforced.

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