As reported in the April 8, 2009 WSJ Health Blog, John Hopkins is the latest to adopt a restrictive policy on ‘on interaction with industry.’ the new policy “bans free drug samples and says doctors can’t participate in consulting gigs in which they’re essentially paid for not doing anything…” The ban “applies to Hopkins’s medical school, hospitals and clinics”. It also “prohibits gifts, entertainment or food — regardless of value — from drug and medical device companies.”
As for consulting relationships, the policy says that payments that are “without commensurate associated duties are considered gifts and are prohibited.”
According to the Health Blog, Hopkins representatives do not “believe it has a problem with …’sham’ consulting arrangements, but they’ve been a subject of concern around the country.” For there doctor’s sake, one would hope not since that might be a bit more problematic than a meal or gift, no?
From the policy:
[On Gifts:]To avoid the risk of conscious or subconscious bias in decision-making, it is the Johns Hopkins Medicine policy that faculty and staff, employees, students, trainees, and volunteers may not accept gifts or entertainment (see below for food and meals), regardless of value ***
[On Consulting Arrangements:] Consulting arrangements involving personal compensation without commensurate associated duties are considered gifts and are prohibited. Specific policies regarding outside consulting are set forth in the School of Medicine’s policy on conflict of commitment and in JHM organizations’ personnel policies. ***
[On Food/Meals]: With certain exceptions, outlined below, industry-supplied food and meals are considered personal gifts and will not be permitted and may not be accepted at any JHM member organization site, in connection with activity conducted under the auspices of or using the name of any JHM member organization or in the context of professional activity off-site. ***
[On Unrestricted Gifts to Instituti0n:] Through unrestricted gifts, industry generously supports the educational, research, and patient care missions of Johns Hopkins. Gifts must be made to the University or JHHS and deposited in a departmental account. There may be no quid pro quo, nor any limitations nor conditions placed on gifts that are inconsistent with Fund for Johns Hopkins Medicine policies and applicable regulations.***
[On Samples:] The practice of accepting free pharmaceutical samples risks interference with one’s prescribing practices since industry representatives often provide the newest and most costly drugs. Therefore, free pharmaceutical samples and vouchers for free pharmaceutical samples may not be accepted.***
[On Access by Pharma Reps:] [A]ccess by pharmaceutical, medical testing and other industry representatives to individual physicians must be restricted to non-patient care areas. Access will be permitted only on invitation from a physician, nurse, pharmacist, respiratory therapist, or other professional healthcare staff member.***
[On Speaking Gigs:] Faculty members may speak at an industry-sponsored program only if the faculty member retains full control and authority over professional material the faculty member presents and does not allow such communications or presentations to be subject to prior approval by any commercial interest other than approval for the use of proprietary information.
via Johns Hopkins Bans Free Drug Samples, Gifts from Industry – Health Blog – WSJ.
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