Yale Medical Group adopts conflicts-of-interest policy
Yale Medical Group, affiliated with Yale University’s medical school, has adopted a new conflicts-of-interest policy to regulate relationships between its doctor-academics and industry, Pharmalot reported. The new policy comes on the heels of a similar move at Harvard Medical School, and after a handful of other academic medical centers have reviewed their own rules. Yale Medical’s new regulations attempt to tread a fine line, designed to fend off accusations that industry money and relationships unduly influence its doctors without cutting pharma out of the equation completely. It addresses financial ties to drug and device makers; gifts, meals and other goodies from industry; ghostwriting; samples; consulting and continuing medical education. According to Pharmalot, drug sales reps bear the brunt of the rules; they’ll be allowed to visit only by invitation and with an appointment. Companies can still sponsor CME programs and provide meals during CME events. “We wanted to upgrade the guidelines to a full-blown policy so that faculty and others understand that these are no longer electives, because the landscape has changed,” CEO David Leffell said. The Yale Medical Group is staffed by roughly 800 academic physicians from the Yale School of Medicine; it is not a separate practice or foundation. The move reflects ongoing debate over the interactions between academics and drug and device makers. The National Institutes of Health has proposed new conflict rules for researchers. “Our view is that we continue to respect the role the pharmaceutical industry plays in contributing to and investing in the health of people,” Leffell said.