June 23, 2018
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Financial ties bind medical societies to drug and device makers

From sponsored workshops to logo-ed coffee sleeves, drug companies and manufacturers of medical devices spend plenty to market their products at medical conventions, Pro Publica reports in an in-depth report today.

“Last year’s four-day event [the annual Heart Rhythm Society conference for cardiologists] brought in more than $5 million, including money for exhibit booths the size of mansions and company-sponsored events. This year, there are even more “promotional opportunities,” as the society describes them.

Concerns about the influence of industry money have prompted universities such as Stanford and the University of Colorado-Denver to ban drug sales representatives from the halls of their hospitals and bar doctors from paid promotional speaking.

Yet, one area of medicine still welcomes the largesse: societies that represent specialists. It’s a relationship largely hidden from public view, said David Rothman, who studies conflicts of interest in medicine as director of the Center on Medicine as a Profession at Columbia University.”

Read the full report here, complete with interactive graphics, to learn more about the relationship between doctors, medical associations and major companies marketing new drugs and medical devices. — Meg Haskell, BDN

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