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Should academic physicians serve on drug-company boards?

The Atlantic, April 10, 2014
A study this month in JAMA found that of the 50 largest drug companies in the world, 40 percent have at least one board member who is also a leader in an academic medical center. Among U.S. drug companies included in the study, the percentage was even higher at 94 percent. And the fees that academic medical leaders are collecting for their service are not trivial, averaging over $310,000 per year. Such figures are surprising, given that many medical schools have adopted conflict-of-interest policies that include prohibitions against the participation of faculty members and trainees in promotional speaking, industry sponsorship of continuing medical education, access by pharmaceutical representatives to academic medical centers, and gifts from pharmaceutical representatives of any value, including meals, drug samples, and training fellowships.