As a result of the ongoing controversy over conflicts of interest among academic researchers and industry, yet another university has agreed to disclose financial relationships between faculty and drug and device makers. The move comes amid pressure by the US Senate Finance Committee, which recently sent letters to several universities for such information (back story).
And so the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine has launched what it calls "enhanced faculty profiles" on its web site that now includes external professional and industry relationships for about 2,000 full and part-time faculty members, including physicians and basic research scientists. The site notes service on boards of directors, consulting and related activities, ownership or investment interests, royalties and inventor shares. The profiles also will list such activities as lectures as well as participation in scientific advisory boards and professional societies. You can search for someone here and read the conflict of interest policy here (please scroll down to the second item in the COI section).
"These activities enhance our ability to pursue our mission of educating and training the next generation of physicians and scientists and of advancing science to the benefit of patients and society," says J. Larry Jameson, vp for medical affairs and the Lewis Landsberg Dean of the Feinberg School, in a statement. "At the same time, we also recognize the importance of avoiding potential conflicts of interest, and we are committed to the transparency of these relationships."
Photo courtesy of Jerome Kassirer