Wednesday, August 27, 2008
Stanford University has announced that it will severely restrict industry financing of doctors’ continuing education at its medical school. Wow. The New York Times is reporting that Stanford "will no longer let drug and device companies specify which courses they wish to finance. Instead, companies will be asked to contribute only to a schoolwide pool of money that can be used for any class, even ones that never mention a company’s products." At first glance I thought this was a big step but when I pondered about it some more, I just got confused. Stanford is now the sixth medical school that pools these contributions for medical education. Why is that so great? They are making Stanford out to be so high and mighty because they are still taking pharmaceutical money but it is okay because it is in unmarked bills? What is the difference between that and the term "money laundering"? Maybe this action they are taking will result in getting less "contributions" than before but they are still going to get millions for their coffers. They will use this money at their own discretion and I hope it truly goes to putting on continuing medical education. Will those lectures be free or will they be part of regular conferences for which doctors still have to pay for? I think we all know the answer to that. Don't get me wrong, I think this move by Stanford is a good thing and should happen everywhere. My issue is making them out to be saints when they are in fact still taking cash. Hey if Big Pharma wants to contribute to the Placebo Journal with a pool of money that can be used for any parody that mocks the pharmaceutical industry even ones that never mentions a particular company's product, then I would do it. I want to be held to a higher standard too.
Posted by Authentic Medicine Blog at 5:21 AM