Hot Topics: Conflict of Interest

Blog Posts (4)

March 7, 2014

GlaxoSmithKline and Conflicts of Interests

<p class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 22.399999618530273px;">A <em><a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/17/business/glaxo-says-it-will-stop-paying-doctors-to-promote-drugs.html">New York Times</a></em><a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/17/business/glaxo-says-it-will-stop-paying-doctors-to-promote-drugs.html"> article</a> by Katie Thomas published on December 16, 2013 led with this sentence: “The British drug maker GlaxoSmithKline will no longer pay doctors to promote its products and will stop tying compensation of sales representatives to the number of prescriptions doctors write, its chief executive said Monday, effectively ending two common industry practices that critics have long assailed as troublesome conflicts of interest.” Might one ask: Are these really conflict of interests problems?</p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 22.399999618530273px;">A <em>conflict of interest</em> (so sometimes, <em>conflict of interests</em>) is <a href="http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJM199308193290812">often defined as</a>: “a set of circumstances that creates a risk that professional judgment or actions regarding a primary interest will be unduly influenced by a secondary interest.”  In a short introduction to conflicts of interests, written for a business ethics class at the McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas at Austin, Dr. Lamar Pierce (Associate Professor of Strategy, Olin Business School, Washington University, St. Louis) said:</p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 22.399999618530273px; padding-left: 60px;"><span style="color: #434343;">Incentives are pervasive in every aspect of society. People are rewarded for taking certain actions, and not rewarded for taking others. Workers are paid for their effort and productivity, salespeople are paid for their sales, and small business owners are rewarded with profits for successful ventures. So long as these incentives are well-understood by everyone, they work reasonably well. They motivate effort, performance, and social welfare. But sometimes, individuals have incentives that conflict with their professional responsibilities, often in ways that are not transparent to the public or in their own minds. These conflicts of interest produce serious economic and social problems.</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 22.399999618530273px;"><span style="color: #434343;"></span><strong style="color: #34405b; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: 20px;">The Alden March Bioethics Institute offers a Master of Science in Bioethics, a Doctorate of Professional Studies in Bioethics, and Graduate Certificates in Clinical Ethics and Clinical Ethics Consultation. For more information on AMBI's online graduate programs, please visit our <a style="color: #000099; text-decoration: underline;" href="/Academic/bioethics/index.cfm">website</a>.</strong></p>
January 22, 2014

Should Those Selling Natural Cures and Supplements Get a Free Ride When It Comes to COI?

by Arthur Caplan, Ph.D.

Earlier this week I was a guest on a Pennsylvania public television show.  The topic was the safety of GMO foods. …

September 24, 2013

How Young is Too Young: Bariatric Surgery in Toddlers

by Craig Klugman, Ph.D.

The Oxford American Dictionary defines the term “outrageous” as “shockingly bad or excessive.” Case in point, a recent publication in the International Journal of Surgery Case Reports about a two-and-a-half year old boy in Saudi Arabia who two years ago underwent laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy (LSG).…

September 3, 2010

FDA and Office of Human Research Protection Respond to Fetal Dex Complaint

The September issue of The American Journal of Bioethics, presaged by such astonishing articles as “The Lesbian Drug” in Newsweek, stretched the boundaries of the Journal by engaging questions about the relationship between advocacy and scholarship, the meaning of transgressing boundaries in that regard, and the extraordinary implications of the social and medical debate concerning the administration of dexamethasone during pregnancy in females with congenital adrenal hyperplasia.…

News (35)

March 21, 2014 2:46 pm

Hawaii police urge lawmakers to let undercover cops have sex with prostitutes

December 17, 2013 6:00 pm

GlaxoSmithKline To Stop Paying Doctors To Promote Drugs

GlaxoSmithKline will stop paying doctors for promoting its drugs and scrap prescription targets for its marketing staff – a first for an industry battling scandals over its sales practices, and a challenge for its peers to follow suit.

November 8, 2013 1:41 pm

Feds Have Beaten Pharma Into Submission Over Off-Label Drug Use, But At What Cost?

Regulatory policy should be based on rules that are clear, with a process that is transparent, and on decisions that are accountable and reviewable, and that are congruent with other public policy imperatives.

November 6, 2013 4:37 pm

U.S. directed medical professionals to ignore ethics, abuse detainees, report says

A new report accuses the U.S. government of directing doctors, nurses and psychologists to participate in the abuse of detainees in Afghanistan, Guantánamo and Iraq.

October 15, 2013 2:37 pm

Hospital CEO Pay Not Tied to Quality

The compensation of nonprofit hospital executives wasn’t linked to processes of care, patient outcomes, or the charity care the facility provided, a retrospective observational study found.

October 15, 2013 2:35 pm

For Med Students, Love From the Drug Rep

Even though medical students and trainees were interacting with industry less than before, roughly half of all medical students and residents had received some kind of gift from industry.

September 23, 2013 3:51 pm

Science and conflicts of interest: Ties to industry revealed

Seventeen of 18 scientists who wrote a controversial editorial critical of the European Commission’s plan to regulate endocrine-disrupting chemicals have past or current ties to industries.

August 19, 2013 2:13 pm

Oregon DOJ case means doctors could tell patients ties to drug, implant makers

An unprecedented Oregon Department of Justice investigation has stepped into an ethical minefield with national implications: When should patients know about a doctor’s payments from companies whose products they use, and whose responsibility is it to tell them?

August 12, 2013 6:58 pm

Groundbreaking Oregon DOJ cases target doctors' failure to inform patients about device payments

Doctors who get paid by makers of artificial implants for using their product must let patients know about it, according to a first-of-its-kind legal action by the Oregon Department of Justice.

May 28, 2013 1:58 pm

NIH Funds and Lobbying Activities

NIH-funded awards are subject to a prohibition on using federal funds for lobbying activities (the actual language can be viewed here and here).

View More News Items