Instituitions Taking Action on Conflicts of Interest:

March 1, 2007 at 1:45 pm Leave a comment

My apologies for the gap in posts…. It was the end of the month and the Vendormate sales team is keeping our calendars booked.

Here are 2 examples of institutions who are devising policies to limit the challenges and problems associated with conflicts of interest.  From gifts to free product samples, these seemingly inocuous vendor incentives can be abused and influence sourcing decisioning.

Henry Ford Health System: New And Strict Vendor Policies Begin Jan. 1

The Henry Ford Health System in Detroit, will no longer accept free gifts, lunches, and other perks from medical sales representatives as part of its initiative to eliminate conflict of interest in relationships between vendors and employees. It’s all part of a trend that may soon be knocking at your door. Henry Ford follows the lead of several other large health systems, such as the University of Pennsylvania, Stanford University, and the University of Michigan, which have all instituted similar regulations. “The implementation of strict vendor policies should be applauded by the hospital industry,” says Norm Werner, FACHE, director of compliance with Continuum Health Partners in New York City.

University mulls banning gifts, changing free sample system

Published October 2006

The University of California at Davis Medical Center may become the next major academic medical center to adopt strict rules against conflicts of interest with drug and device manufacturers.

According to the Sacramento Bee, the medical center’s Pharmacy and Therapeutics (P&T) Committee sent the following recommendations to the center’s executive committee:

·  Forbid the center’s physicians from accepting gifts, free meals and payments for travel time or participation in online medical education programs from drug and device-makers.

·  Stop the distribution of free drug samples, but create a voucher system so qualified low-income patients may receive free medications from the manufacturer.

·  Exclude any medical professionals with ties to drug and device manufacturers from committees with purchasing power.

If it enacts the rules, UC Davis will join the medical centers at Stanford, Yale, and Penn in restricting industry’s promotional activities in its hospitals.

According to the Bee, UC Davis P&T committee chair Tim Albertson acknowledges the line between marketing and legitimate physician education can be thin. “What we are trying to do is bring light to the subject. We are not going to be police. But if we, as an institution, make a statement, that has power,” Albertson said in the report.

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