Sunday, January 3, 2010

The Times They Are A'Changin'? So Says Harvard Affiliate

From the New York Times, reports of tighter rules governing senior physicians who serve on corporate boards at some Harvard affiliated teaching hospitals:

Two things are perhaps of most interest about this report. First, one of the main justifications given for the restrictions on what the big boys can make from serving on corporate boards is fairness. The tendency at academic centers is increasingly to restrict the ability of lower level faculty to earn extra bucks by serving as paid speakers for drug companies. The argument--if we are going to restrict the earning potential of mid-level faculty, we should be fair and assure that the senior faculty cannot walk off with $200K a year.

Second, the article contains no quotations from anyone disagreeing with these new rules, despite what I assume to be the usual journalistic rules of trying to tell both sides of the story. From Dr. Eugene Braunwald, probably the world's most prominent cardiologist, comes the blunt statement, “what was O.K. three years ago is not O.K. now.” As far as this group of academic docs is concerned, a page has turned and there is no going back.

1 comment:

Michael Kirsch, M.D. said...

As I understand it, faculty will be limited to $5,000 per day from industry. Wow! Is that the best we can expect from them? Did they not know, up to now, that paying off physicians tens of thousands (or more) dollars per year doesn't pass the 'smell test'? We don't need just some ethical tidying up -we need wholesale ethical fumigation. These are not controversies, but obvious ethical lapses fueled by greed.