Site tracks schools’ conflict-of-interest policies

About Pia Christensen

Pia Christensen (@AHCJ_Pia) is the managing editor/online services for AHCJ. She manages the content and development of healthjournalism.org, coordinates AHCJ's social media efforts and edits and manages production of association guides, programs and newsletters.

AHCJ member Peggy Noonan sent a note about a useful Web site to the organization’s electronic discussion list that is worth sharing even more widely.

The AMSA PharmFree Scorecard, from the Association of American Medical Colleges, tracks the conflict-of-interest polices at medical schools:

” … evaluates conflict-of-interest policies at the 151 medical colleges and colleges of osteopathic medicine in the United States. Using letter grades to assess schools’ performance in eleven potential areas of conflict, the Scorecard offers a comprehensive look at the landscape of conflict-of-interest policies across American medical education, as well as more in-depth assessment of individual policies that govern industry interaction with medical school faculty and trainees.”

The site features an easy-to-read chart, offers a feature that lets you compares schools’ policies, includes commentary about the schools and provides relevant links. The chart evaluates schools based on polices regarding:

  • gifts & meals
  • consulting relationships
  • industry-funded speaking relationships
  • disclosure
  • pharmaceutical samples
  • purchasing & formularies
  • site access
  • on-campus education
  • attendance at industry-sponsored lectures & meetings off-campus
  • industry support for scholarships & funds for trainees
  • medical school curriculum
  • oversight mechanism
  • explicit sanctions for noncompliance

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