Groups planning phaseout of drugmaker dollars

With heat increasingly mounting on providers to turn away pharma dollars, major trade groups in the industry had already begun cutting back on their dependence on industry contributions.

For example, the American Psychiatric Association recently said that it plans to gradually give up the $1.5 million in pharma funding it uses to pay for continuing medical education. The American College of Cardiology, meanwhile, has stopped distributing almost $500,000 in industry-funded goodies, such as totebags, at its annual scientific session.

Now, it's looking like this trend may gather speed. In a recent report from the Journal of the American Medical Association, a group of 11 influential researchers and doctors urged physician groups to strive for accepting absolutely no industry funding over time. And in the short term, they suggest, any group for which industry funding makes up 25 percent of its budget or more (other than for clearly-marked marketing such as journal ads) should take serious steps to cut back quickly.

These recommendations aren't binding on any one trade group, but observers say they're likely to be influential. Now, the question is how quickly various groups move--a sort of race to see who gets the holiest the fastest, if you will.

To learn more about this trend:
- read this American Medical News piece

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