Medical Professors May Be Too Close To Drug Firms

Tuesday, October 16th 2007, 9:12 pm
By: News On 6

CHICAGO (AP) -- A new survey suggests nearly two-thirds of academic leaders surveyed at U.S. medical schools and teaching hospitals have financial ties to pharmaceuticals and makers of medical devices.

Medical school department heads most commonly reported serving as paid consultants or accepting industry money for free meals and drinks.

According to lead author Eric Campbell, this is a problem because those leaders signal to medical students and others that this is appropriate behavior. He says drug companies and medical device makers often use these connections to influence doctors to use products that aren't necessarily in the patient's best interest.

The survey went to all 125 accredited medical schools and the nation's 15 largest teaching hospitals. About two-thirds of the department heads responded.