Hot Topics: Conflict of Interest

Blog Posts (16)

December 9, 2016

BioethicsTV: Pure Genius is Purely Corrupt

by Craig Klugman, Ph.D.

In this week’s episode (Season 1, Episode 7 -12/8), an FDA reviewer trades a case so that she can review a compassionate use request for a new drug at the hospital where her husband is the chief of staff.…

November 17, 2016

Conflictor-In-Chief: President Trump’s Many Conflicts of Interest

by Craig Klugman, Ph.D.

Every year, my university requires me to file a conflict-of-interest (COI) statement. I had to ask the COI committee for permission in order to use the ethics textbook that I edited for my classes (since I do not receive any residuals on it, there’s no conflict, but had I received money for each sale, I would have).…

July 1, 2016

BioethicsTV: The Night Shift Needs More Sleep

by Craig Klugman, Ph.D.

Summer is a slow time for television and especially for the medical drama. One show that has been filling this warm weather slot is The Night Shift, a fairly uninteresting and poorly done drama.…

April 29, 2016

BioethicsTV: Boundaries are Black and White on Grey’s

by Craig Klugman, Ph.D.

Reaching back to its roots, Grey’s Anatomy in its 12th season has been investigating more professional and ethical challenges in medicine.…

March 1, 2016

Code Black Ends the Season on Bioethics

BioethicsTV is an occasional bioethics.net feature where we examine bioethical issues raised in televised medical dramas.

by Craig Klugman, Ph.D.

The season finale of Code Black (season 1; episode 18 – February 24, 2016) presented a plethora of ethical challenges for the hard working doctors and nurses of Angels Memorial Hospital’s emergency department.…

January 20, 2016

Putting Patients Before Publicity

by Craig Klugman, Ph.D.

Imagine if 5 million people learned about your hospital in a week. Would you want your hospital to be featured in a television reality show?…

October 12, 2015

An F.D.A. Commissioner With Ties to the Pharmaceutical Industry? Heaven Forbid?

<p style="font-size: 11.2px; line-height: 19.04px;"><span style="font-size: 11.2px; line-height: 19.04px;">On September 16, 2015, </span><a style="font-size: 11.2px; line-height: 19.04px;" href="http://www.nytimes.com/2015/09/16/health/cardiologist-nominated-to-be-head-of-fda.html">President Obama nominated</a><span style="font-size: 11.2px; line-height: 19.04px;"> the internationally known Duke University cardiologist-researcher </span><a style="font-size: 11.2px; line-height: 19.04px;" href="https://medicine.duke.edu/faculty/robert-m-califf">Robert M. Califf, MD</a><span style="font-size: 11.2px; line-height: 19.04px;">, to be Commissioner of Food and Drugs. He will replace</span><a style="font-size: 11.2px; line-height: 19.04px;" href="http://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/06/health/margaret-hamburg-fda-commissioner-stepping-down.html">Margaret Hamburg, MD</a><span style="font-size: 11.2px; line-height: 19.04px;">, who left the agency last March. Dr. Califf – a registered Democrat but well regarded by Senate Republicans – has served as </span><a style="font-size: 11.2px; line-height: 19.04px;" href="http://www.fda.gov/AboutFDA/CentersOffices/ucm452317.htm">Deputy Commissioner at the F.D.A.</a><span style="font-size: 11.2px; line-height: 19.04px;"> since February. The Senate must confirm the commissioner.</span></p> <p style="font-size: 11.2px; line-height: 19.04px;">Immediately prior to joining the F.D.A., Dr. Califf was professor of medicine and vice chancellor for clinical and translational research at Duke. While at Duke, he founded the Duke Clinical Research Institute and served as director of the Duke Translational Medicine Institute. A highly esteemed expert in cardiovascular medicine, health outcomes research, healthcare quality, and clinical research, Dr. Califf has led many landmark clinical trials and authored or co-authored over 1,200 publications in the peer-reviewed literature. He is one of the American Medicine’s most frequently cited authors in the biomedical sciences. His credentials are unimpeachable. Two of Dr. Califf’s area of interests are improving the design of drug research projects and streamlining the regulatory process to bring innovative drugs to market more quickly.</p> <p><span style="color: #34405b; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: 19.04px;"><strong>The Alden March Bioethics Institute offers a Master of Science in Bioethics, a</strong> </span><strong style="color: #34405b; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: 19.04px;">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="http://www.amc.edu/Academic/bioethics/index.cfm">website</a>.</strong></p>
September 25, 2015

Drug Price Hikes and the Misguided Profit Imperative

by Craig Klugman, Ph.D.

Headlines this past week were abuzz with news that Daraprim—a drug that has fought parasitic infections such as toxoplasmosis for 62 years—saw its price hiked by 5500%, nearly overnight.…

April 8, 2015

Is a gift of ribs “slightly unethical” in the physician-patient relationship?

by Craig Klugman, Ph.D.

In an editorial in the Chicago Tribune, a physician tells the story of an underserved patient who owned a rib joint.…

December 8, 2014

Marketing Extremes That Even Give Big Pharma Supporters Pause

<p class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 22.3999996185303px;"><span style="line-height: 22.3999996185303px;">On November 28, 2014, </span><em style="line-height: 22.3999996185303px;">The New York Times</em><span style="line-height: 22.3999996185303px;"> broke another story about Big Pharma marketing extremes. Reported by Katie Thomas and titled “<a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2014/11/28/business/drug-maker-gave-large-payments-to-doctors-with-troubled-track-records.html">Using Doctors With Troubled Pasts to Market a Painkiller</a>”</span><span style="line-height: 22.3999996185303px;">, the article reveals that one drug manufacturer is taking usual and customary sales strategies beyond the reasonable.</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 22.3999996185303px;"><span style="line-height: 22.3999996185303px;">It is </span><a style="line-height: 22.3999996185303px;" href="http://www.pewtrusts.org/en/research-and-analysis/fact-sheets/2013/11/11/persuading-the-prescribers-pharmaceutical-industry-marketing-and-its-influence-on-physicians-and-patients">independently reported</a><span style="line-height: 22.3999996185303px;"> that pharmaceutical manufacturers spent as much as $27 billion in 2012 to promote their products.  (Curiously during the same year, Big Pharma itself reported spending about $48 billion on the research and </span><a style="line-height: 22.3999996185303px;" href="http://www.phrma.org/sites/default/files/pdf/PhRMA%20Profile%202013.pdf">development of new drugs</a><span style="line-height: 22.3999996185303px;">.  However, some believe the research and development </span><a style="line-height: 22.3999996185303px;" href="http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/01/080105140107.htm">costs are overstated</a><span style="line-height: 22.3999996185303px;"> because government grant support and marketing and other expenses are included in the totals.)</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 22.3999996185303px;"><strong style="color: #34405b; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: 19.0400009155273px;">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="text-decoration: underline; color: #000099;" href="/Academic/bioethics/index.cfm">website</a>.</strong><span style="color: #34405b; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: 19.0400009155273px;"> </span></p>

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News (47)

November 2, 2016 8:00 am

Publisher pulls 58 articles by Iranian scientists over authorship manipulation (Nature)

A tranche of 58 articles authored by 282 Iran-based researchers were retracted today by a leading scientific publisher, which said it had found signs that the peer review and publication processes had been compromised.

October 27, 2016 8:00 am

How drugs intended for patients ended up in the hands of illegal users: ‘No one was doing their job’ (Washington Post)

For 10 years, the government waged a behind-the-scenes war against pharmaceutical companies that hardly anyone knows: wholesale distributors of prescription narcotics that ship drugs from manufacturers to consumers.

October 13, 2016 8:00 am

Major Investor Sues Theranos (WSJ)

One of Theranos Inc.’s biggest financial backers has sued the embattled startup and its founder for allegedly lying to attract its nearly $100 million investment, according to a fund document and people familiar with the matter.

September 15, 2016 8:00 am

Stop ignoring misconduct (Nature)

The history of science shows that irreproducibility is not a product of our times. Some 350 years ago, the chemist Robert Boyle penned essays on “the unsuccessfulness of experiments”. He warned readers to be sceptical of reported work. “You will meet with several Observations and Experiments, which … may upon further tryal disappoint your expectation.” He attributed the problem to a ‘lack of skill in the scientist and the lack of purity of the ingredients’, and what would today be referred to as inadequate statistical power.

September 9, 2016 8:00 am

Another scathing report causes more eminent heads to roll in the Macchiarini scandal (Science)

The scandal surrounding Paolo Macchiarini, the former star surgeon who became famous for his pioneering trachea transplants, has prompted yet another round of resignations and firings at the highest levels of Swedish higher education. On Monday evening, Swedish Minister for Higher Education and Research Helene Hellmark Knutsson said she had dismissed the country’s chancellor in charge of all public universities, Harriet Wallberg-Henriksson, following the release of a sharply critical report by an independent commission that examined the Karolinska Institute’s (KI’s) hiring and management of Macchiarini. Wallberg-Henriksson was vice-chancellor of KI in Stockholm, a position comparable to that of a university president, when Macchiarini was hired, and played a key role in his recruitment.

June 21, 2016 8:48 am

Even Cheap Meals Influence Doctors’ Drug Prescriptions, Study Suggests (Wall Street Journal)

It doesn’t take much to get a doctor to prescribe a brand-name medication, a new study suggests. The study found that U.S. doctors who received a single free meal from a drug company were more likely to prescribe the drug the company was promoting than doctors who received no such meals. Meals paid for by drug companies cost less than $20 on average.

January 15, 2016 3:59 pm

Heart doctors outraged Florida dumps hospital standards after big gifts to GOP

The state of Florida is putting thousands of children with heart defects at risk, a group of cardiac doctors say, because of a change in policy that came after Tenet Healthcare contributed $200,000 to Florida Republicans.

November 12, 2015 3:51 pm

Coca-Cola Spends Millions Of Dollars Funding Research That—Surprise!—Says Soda Is Just Fine

Last week, the University of Colorado announced that it would return a $1 million gift from Coca-Cola—news that came after a New York Times article in August revealed that the soda company funded a group of scientists called the Global Energy Balance Network that downplayed the relationship between soda and obesity, emphasizing instead the importance of exercise.

March 12, 2015 6:31 pm

FDA proposal to allow drug reps to circulate data draws protests

Consumer watchdog Public Citizen has called on U.S. health regulators to withdraw a proposal that would allow pharmaceutical companies to distribute medical literature suggesting a drug’s risk is less than stated on the label.

June 30, 2014 6:15 pm

Facebook responds to criticism of its experiment on users

Facebook is unapologetic about the “emotional contagion” experiment it was conducting on customers.

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