The prestigious NEJM have published an article in the current on-line edition "Controlling Conflict of Interest - Proposals from the Institute of Medicine", By Sr. Robert Steinbrook.
The article starts by defining what is conflict of interest :"a set of circumstances that creates a risk that professional judgment or actions regarding a primary interest will be unduly influenced by a secondary interest." The primary interests of concern include "promoting and protecting the integrity of research, the welfare of patients, and the quality of medical education." Secondary interests "may include not only financial gain but also the desire for professional advancement, recognition for personal achievement and favors to friends and family or to students and colleagues."
The article covers the recommendations of the IOM and of particular interest to me is the following from the article: Academic medical centers, teaching hospitals, faculty members, students, residents, and fellows should "reform relationships with industry in medical education"; these institutions and professional societies "should provide education on conflict of interest."....
To read the entire article, please follow this link: http://content.nejm.org/cgi/content/full/NEJMp0810200?query=TOC