Conflicts of interest may be endemic to American medical research, but better policy could improve the chances that we draw the right conclusions about which drugs are best for which conditions and for whom. The New America Foundation invited Ross McKinney, M.D., Vice Dean of Research at Duke’s Medical School, and Jerry Hoffman, M.D., emergency department physician and professor of clinical epidemiology at UCLA, to join Schwartz Senior Fellow Shannon Brownlee to discuss the realities, incentives, and policy options before us. Len Nichols, Director of the Health Policy Program at New America, moderated.
The respective roles of research professors, medical schools, academic journals, the FDA, NIH, and pharmaceutical companies were discussed and debated. Promising policy options were considered, including changing the mix of public and private funding, more complete disclosure and access to data, as well as post-approval regulatory powers the EPA has now that arguably the FDA should. Stay tuned for future forums on these important topics, for while the discussion continued for 3 hours, we really just scratched the surface of policy change possibilities.
Video of New America's half-day conference exploring this issue and its possible solutions is available at right, while an MP3 audio can be downloaded here.
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