Grassley wants to see med schools' conflict of interest policies

Continuing his campaign to clean up healthcare industry relationships, Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) has asked 23 medical schools to share details on their conflict-of-interest policies. Grassley's letter went out to med schools that didn't respond to a similar request from the American Medical Student Association, which tapped 149 institutions.

While some institutions simply didn't answer the AMSA's request, several--including Tulane University School of Medicine, Dartmouth Medical School and Howard University College of Medicine--directly declined to answer. 

Apparently, this didn't sit well with Grassley, who's now asking for not only conflict-of-interest policies, but also a list of each NIH or other federal research grant each school got between 2004 and 2008. He also wants copies of any paper the schools filed with NIH about conflicts affecting employees conducting federally-funded research. (The moral of the story? Transparency pays off.)

The letters come as part of a long-term investigation by Grassley, who wants to get a handle on the level of influence drug and device companies have over medical schools. He's currently investigating doctors from Harvard Medical School, Columbia University and Stanford, among other institutions. He also has sponsored the Physician Payment Sunshine Act, which would require drug and devicemakers to publicize any payments to physicians that are more than $500.

To learn more about Grassley's campaign:
- read this Modern Healthcare piece (reg. req.)

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