JAMA article implores medical groups to refuse industry money

In an article in Tuesday's Journal of the American Medical Association, a group of leading doctors shared their opinion that medical associations such as the American College of Cardiology, the American Psychiatric Association and the American College of Physicians, should stay away from accepting general budgetary support from the healthcare industry. The physicians feel that the line is too thin between "science" and "marketing. 

"We're taking a bold step here," Cleveland Clinic cardiology chief Steve Nissen said. "When you have professional medical societies writing guidelines for the medicines doctors prescribe, there shouldn't even be the appearance of influence." 

Unofficial recommendations on how associations could accept industry advertisements for things like conference booths and publications were explored in the article. 

"Physicians are making decisions based on their scientific and medical knowledge and their training," said Marjorie Powers, assistant general counsel with the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America. "It's important to recognize that they have their own sense of integrity." 

For more:
- here's the Wall Street Journal story (reg. req.)