Harvard addresses conflicts of interest

Harvard Medical School adopted a new conflict-of-interest policy, noting that professors can no longer accept gifts, travel, and meals, as well as industry money to speak on behalf of drug and device companies.

Harvard Medical School adopted a new conflict-of-interest policy, noting that professors can no longer accept gifts, travel, and meals, as well as industry money to speak on behalf of drug and device companies.

The university has been criticized by Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA), who said Joseph Biederman (a Harvard psychiatrist) did not disclose all payments from pharmaceutical companies. Biederman had been doing research that recommended those companies' medications to children with mental disorders.

The Boston Globe writes:

The new rules, which will be phased in after Jan. 1, are designed to keep doctors from becoming — or being perceived as — marketing agents for industry, said Dr. Robert Mayer, cochairman of the committee that wrote the new policy. “We're anxious to be viewed publicly as doing what's in the best interest of our patients,'' he said. The school wants to “ensure credibility even more than we do today.''

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