Sen. Grassley has written letters to 23 medical schools that didn’t respond to those persistent students over at the American Medical Student Association (AMSA) when they asked each medical school in the country for its conflict-of-interest policies. The student group evaluated the policies as part of its 2009 PharmFree Scorecard, which it developed with the Pew Prescription Project to grade the nation’s 149 medical schools on how they regulate physician-industry relations at their institution. You can check out the full scorecard here.
From the Senator’s letters to the 23 no-show schools:
I recently learned from an American Medical Student Association report, AMSA PharmFree Scorecard 2009, that your institution either had “no response” or “declined to submit policies” when asked to supply conflicts of interest policies.
Accordingly, I request that your institution respond to the following questions and requests for information. For each response, please repeat the enumerated request and follow with the appropriate answer.
1) A copy of your institution’s policy on employee conflict of interest.
2) Please provide any notifications and/or communications to the NIH regarding conflicts of interest and research by professors at your institution. This request covers the period of January 1, 2004 through the present.
3) Please provide a total dollar figure for all NIH monies and/or other federal monies annually received by your institution. This request covers the period of 2004 through 2008.
4) Please provide a list of all NIH grants and/ or other federal grants received by your institution. This request covers the period of 2004 through 2008. For each grant please provide the following:
a. Primary Investigator;
b. Grant Title;
c. Grant number;
d. Brief description; and
e. Amount of Award.
The schools have until July 15 to respond.
Sen. Grassley is also a sponsor of the Physician Payments Sunshine Act, which would require industry payments to physicians to be reported in a public online database, and has been put forward in both House and Senate health reform proposals.
Check out Sen. Grassley’s full press release.