Med Schools Improve Conflict Of Interest Policies, But Widespread Problems Remain
According to the latest ratings of two watchdog groups, medical schools are "improving their conflict-of-interest policies to police their ties with drug and medical-device makers. But more than half the schools still have inadequate policies or no policies at all," the Wall Street Journal's Health Blog reports. The American Medical Student Association and the Pew Prescription Project said the number of schools earning top marks had more than doubled, in part because of pressure from lawmakers like Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa. But, "there are a lot of schools that are yet to look seriously at these issues," the director of the Pew project said.
Grassley, meanwhile, "has demanded more information about the financial health of UC San Francisco's medical school, raising questions about whether the entire University of California system may be mismanaging federal research funds," the Los Angeles Times reports. The school is in the midst of a law suit with former FDA administrator David Kessler, who alleged that the school had misused hundreds of millions of dollars in federal funds before he was fired for what university officials called "performance" problems. Grassley requested details of federal funds UCSF has received over five years from the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, the Department of Energy and the Department of Defense in an April letter (Oliphant, 6/17).