Leaders of medical schools and hospitals receive much more compensation from pharmaceutical companies than the doctors who have previously been scrutinized for drug company ties, according to a study released today by the Journal of the American Medical Association. 40% of the world’s largest drug companies had at least on board member who also served in leadership at a U.S. academic medical center, according to the study, with average annual compensation of $313,000.
Anderson, T., Dave, S., Good, C., Gellad, W.; Academic Medical Center Leadership on Pharmaceutical Company Boards of Directors. Journal of the American Medical Association. 2014;311(13):1353-1355. doi:10.1001/jama.2013.284925. Online April 2
At first glance… (1 Boring Old Man)
Leaders of Teaching Hospitals Have Close Ties to Drug Companies, Study Shows (ProPublica)
Medical school leaders cash in on drug company boards (Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal Sentinel)
From the Journal Sentinel:
“These relationships present potentially far-reaching consequences beyond those created when individual physicians consult with industry or receive gifts,” the researchers wrote.
Others who were not a part of the paper said such lucrative moonlighting for drug companies with vested interests simply should not be done by university leaders who oversee independent research and the instruction of medical practitioners.
“I don’t know how they can manage a conflict like that,” said Susan Chimonas, an expert on conflicts of interest in medicine. “My gosh, there is so much money they are making for a little side job.”
Serving in dual roles raises so many potential conflicts that it would be wiser to eliminate them, said Chimonas, associate director of research for Columbia University’s Center on Medicine as a Profession.