Stanford faculty required to disclose ties to industry

As part of an ongoing revision of its conflict-of-interest and disclosure policies, Stanford University's Medical School is set to publish a list of consulting fees and other income its faculty receives from businesses, such as medical equipment manufacturers and drug companies. As part of the new policy that will take effect later this year, med school faculty will be required to report income of more than $5,000 a year that it receives from a single commercial entity.

The policy shifts, which started in earnest last summer, are in large part a response to Sen. Charles Grassley's accusations of several med schools conflict-of-interest and related disclosure policies. Grassley (R-IA) has also said that med schools at Harvard and Emory Universities have failed to disclose their faculties' ties to industry.

Last June, in a statement published in the Congressional Record, Grassley singled out Dr. Alan Schatzberg, a psychiatrist on Stanford's faculty who the Senator claimed hadn't reported a $6 million stake he had in drug developer, Corcept Therapeutics. Schatzberg and Stanford claimed that Schatzberg had complied with the university's disclosure policies, and that there was no conflict-of-interest in this case. However, Stanford revised its funding policies last August, stating it would refuse any financial support for the med school's educational programs--from the pharmaceutical industry or medical equipment manufacturers.

According to The Wall Street Journal, the Cleveland Clinic, began publicly reporting similar information about its doctors late last year. Several companies--including Pfizer, Merck, GlaxoSmithKline and Eli Lilly--have said they'll also report their ties to physicians, academic researchers and universities.

For more information:
- see this Bloomberg story
- check out The Wall Street Journal's story