Medical Groups Adopt Stricter Ethics Code Against Conflicts Of InterestThe Associated Press: A new ethics code adopted by leading medical groups on Wednesday is supposed to keep the drug and medical device industry from having too much financial influence over medical practitioners. "It's the most sweeping move ever taken by the Council of Medical Specialty Societies to curb conflict of interest - a growing concern as private industry bankrolls a greater share of medical research. The council includes 32 medical societies with 650,000 members, from neurologists and obstetricians to family doctors and pediatricians. They include the American College of Physicians, the American College of Cardiology and the American Society of Clinical Oncology, the largest group of cancer specialists in the world" (Marchione, 4/21).
The Wall Street Journal: Among the stricter rules in the code include: "'key society leaders,' defined as the presidential line of succession, CEO of a group's membership organization and editor-in-chief of any associated journals can't have 'direct financial relationships' with companies during their terms." Although, "Leaders can still provide uncompensated services to companies, accept 'reasonable' travel reimbursements related to those services, and accept research support as long as it's paid to an institution or practice" (Hobson, 4/21). This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.