Debate over medical industry involvement in doctor education continues

In an effort to separate doctors and the commercial medical industry, the University of Michigan Medical School has become the first to decide that it will no longer accept funding from drug and medical device producers.

In an effort to separate doctors and the commercial medical industry, the University of Michigan Medical School has become the first to decide that it will no longer accept funding from drug and medical device producers. Funding typically pays for coursework doctors must complete to renew their medical licenses.

The elimination of commercial medical financing has been a major issue among academics, medical professionals, and lawmakers alike—it is believed that extensive financing may lead to the promotion of products over patients.

Higher-level medical education has become a large financial sector in the United States, in which total spending peaked at $2.5 billion in 2007—$1.2 billion of which was paid by commercial medical companies. However, revenue from companies has declined since the introduction of new limits on commercial industry involvement.

Although proponents seek to educate doctors free of bias, opponents of the movement claim industry involvement provides doctors with the newest medical information. Arguments continue on both sides.

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