Those crazy kids are at it again. Last year, they started ranking med schools on their policies - or lack thereof - for keeping sales reps and freebies at bay. Now, they are happily circulating a handy-dandytip sheet for holding meetings, grand rounds and conferences without succumbing to undue industry influence.
The reason? The Americal Medical Student Association says that none of the academic medical centers have banned industry-funded educational events. And the kids believe that "the practical motivation of satisfying industry sponsors prevents the independent discussion of medical therapies." With the help of PharmedOut, the educational non-profit, they came up with these suggestions, among others...
- Use local talent. Identify respected researchers and clinicians with no commercial conflicts of interest from your own institution, or neighboring academic medical centers, and invite them to speak; - Create a pharma-free speaker’s fund for out-of-town speaker expenses; - Decrease the amount of honoraria offered to speakers; - Invite Federal employees. Many wonderful scientists and physicians are employed by Federal agencies or state or county health departments; - Have attendees bring their own food, or ask local restaurants and caterers to donate one or two meals a year for pharma-free rounds;
- And remember to confiscate those pens. Instead, AMSA suggests you support it cause - by paying $1.50 for its own pen.