The final chapters of the American Medical Association's ill-fated marketing
deal with Sunbeam Corp. soon will be written.
The AMA's House of Delegates is scheduled to present its own version of why the AMA entered into an agreement with the manufacturer of appliances and healthcare devices in August. The report also will recommend changes the AMA should make because of it.
Meanwhile, the lawsuit that resulted from the controversial deal has been scheduled for trial.
The delegates will gather June 14 in Chicago for the AMA's annual meeting.
A committee to investigate the Sunbeam deal was appointed at the delegates' December meeting in Dallas. Its inquiry follows an AMA board report completed Sept. 18, 1997, which resulted in the departure of four AMA executives.
The Sunbeam endorsement deal stunned AMA members when it was announced in August because it included provisions allowing Sunbeam to stamp the AMA seal on products that had not been specifically tested to determine their health benefits.
The AMA subsequently pulled out of the deal and, as a result, got hit with a $20 million breach-of-contract suit by Delray Beach, Fla.-based Sunbeam. That case is scheduled to go to trial Nov. 2 in U.S. District Court in Chicago.
Another delegate committee, charged with studying the division of powers between the delegates and the AMA's Board of Trustees, also is expected to report to the delegates.
In addition, the delegates are scheduled to meet the AMA's new executive vice president, dermatologist E. Ratcliffe "Andy" Anderson Jr., M.D. The 58-year-old Anderson was hired in May to replace P. John Seward, M.D., who resigned on the eve of December's delegates meeting.
Anderson, a former Vietnam fighter pilot and Air Force surgeon general, most recently was executive director of Truman Medical Center in Kansas City, Mo. He has an extensive background in administration.