The Institute of Medicine has issued 16 recommendations for managing financial relationships between medical professionals and industry, including banning researchers with financial interests in a product or company from conducting related clinical trials that involve human participants.
This is a vital issue that really goes to the heart of patients trusting that they are receiving the best medical care available, said Bernard Lo, chairman of the IOM recommendation committee and director of the University of California at San Franciscos medical ethics program. This report spells out a reasonable strategy, we believe, for preventing the types of conflicts of interest that can cause problems.
The report, Conflict of Interest in Medical Research, Education and Practice, calls upon academic medical centers, journals, professional societies as well as other groups engaged in the development of continuing medical education, clinical guidelines and research to develop and adopt comprehensive conflicts-of-interest guidelines and disclosure rules. The committee concluded that rules to manage conflicts of interest can be implemented without discouraging the development of medical advances.
The 16 recommendations include creating a standardized disclosure format for institutions and individuals to report financial relationships with industry; prohibiting the acceptance of gifts from medical products companies; and prohibiting industry funding of professional medical organizations clinical guideline development.