National Physicians Alliance

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Tools to Bolster Conflict of Interest Policies

Posted by Simone Isadora Flynn, PhD, NPA Project Manager-Leveraging Social Media September 29, 2014 at 10:52 AM

Have you been struggling with how to prevent or manage conflicts of interest when collaborating with the pharmaceutical and device industries? Are you looking for resources to assist in your efforts to further improve your institution’s Conflict of Interest policies?

Community Catalyst, a national non-profit health care advocacy organization, has written a COI Policy Guide for Medical Schools and Academic Medical Centers, which is comprised of ten COI Toolkits outlining conflict-of-interest issues in specific policy areas. Each Toolkit includes model policies and recommended best practices to help your institution ensure that faculty and staff interactions with industry do not compromise patient care or medical education. These Toolkits address:

Staff contact with medical device and pharmaceutical company sales representatives

Industry funding of continuing medical education (CME)

Medical school curricula on conflicts of interest

Gifts, meals and entertainment from the pharmaceutical industry

Promotional speaking (speakers bureaus)


Transparency and disclosure of industry payments

Free Drug Samples

How to best implement new COI policies

While many conflict of interest policies at medical schools have gotten stronger, compliance and medical leaders working to improve their policies may want to know more about the evidence supporting policy alternatives and the experience of their peer institutions. To that end, Community Catalyst has consulted with academic, clinical and compliance experts across the country to develop their recommendations and have incorporated best practices and model policies from many institutions.

Find these free and publicly available COI toolkits on the Community Catalyst website.

These COI Toolkits were developed by Community Catalyst, a national non-profit health care advocacy organization, as part their work in the Partnership to Advance Conflict-Free Medical Education (PACME), a collaboration of Community Catalyst, the Pew Charitable Trusts, the American Medical Student Association and the National Physician’s Alliance. PACME aims to improve conflict-of-interest standards and practices at the approximately 150 medical schools and 400 affiliated teaching hospitals in the United States. PACME is funded by the Attorney General Consumer and Prescriber Grant Program, with funds from the multi-state settlement of consumer fraud claims regarding the illegal marketing of the prescription drug Neurontin.

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