Medical school conflicted over disclosures

  • Article by: JANET MOORE , Star Tribune
  • Updated: December 28, 2008 - 10:38 PM

Opinions vary on whether those proposing changes in the University of Minnesota's conflict-of-interest policy should themselves be free of conflicts.

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idontthinksoDec. 28, 0811:35 PM

another non-story from j moore. i'd rather watch mafia with jay mohr than read her mindless med-tech dribble.

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buzzman0755Dec. 29, 08 2:30 AM

For too long The "U" thinks it is above everybody, everyone and arrogantly, half-hardly polices itself without any reguards of policies or staying within the confines of the law. It is badly needed that the State should jump in and regulate the "U" more closely since they rely so much on state funding they need to be held more accountable for all their transactions.

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localguyDec. 29, 08 6:31 AM

With so many of our jobs moving overseas, high tech (including biotech) is one of the few areas where the US still has the edge. Our competitive advantage results because we have the best post graduate education in the world and it's increasingly working in concert with private industry. Those partnerships are why high tech companies (and the high quality jobs that they bring) are thriving in areas like Boston and the San Francisco Bay Area. In our own area, Medtronic, which was started at the U, is a shining example of what these partnerships can contribute. We should definitely enforce robust ethical standards, but let's not discourage these partnerships since they're one of the few economic advantages that we have.

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wunderdudeDec. 29, 08 7:47 AM

Hiding behind their lawyers' skirts is no way to run a bioethics policy. What's so amusing is how a no-brainer disclosure is such a vexing legal hurdle for academics and their attorneys. No thanks - I'll get my care from doctors who have the stones to disclose how they make their millions.

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clearthinkerDec. 29, 08 9:20 AM

As long as the recpient is a liberal democrat, and the democrat lawyers hide behind a "no comment" statement, and the liberal press accepts it, then there is no conflict of interest or ethical dilema. If democrats get the money then all is fine.

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merleingaDec. 29, 0810:06 AM

Meanwhile, if one actually works in the medical field, the biggest conflict has been the quid pro quo between doctors and HMO's-- i.e. we will funnel our business to you doctors who agree to use our formularies (loaded exclusively with "pseudogenerics," ie telling a patient zocor is a generic of lipitor, or amoxil for zpacks, etc). Even worse, the plans have paid big kickbacks thru the years to doctors meeting pseudogeneric "usage goals." These journalists are clowns, and I agree as blogged above that political bias does play a role as wasnt United Health closely affiliated with a local Dem House leader,etc. Pharma has only tried to level the playing field, but the HMOs always unleash their journalist buddies. Have medical costs plummeted now that the pharma reps are gone=NO.

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cluke2Dec. 29, 08 2:28 PM

Maybe Dr. William McGreed of United Health Care would be a great candidate to work at a U department that promotes ethics. Besides, that, I believe he must still be unemployed and needs help to pay his water and gas bills since the SEC took back millions from his fabricated stock options.

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jphillips07Dec. 29, 08 8:36 PM

Gentlemen and gentlewomen, Dr. Furcht is one of the most respected research doctors in the country. He is also a national authority on conflict of interest policies, which made him an ideal choice for the committee. Ironically , there have been no questions regarding the substance of the medical school reports referenced. More importantly, due to Dr. Furcht’s work, this technology has received the green light from the FDA for Phase I clinical trials to evaluate the use of stem cell therapy to treat strokes caused by blocked blood vessels and is in phase II clinical trials for heart attacks. The possibility of treating heart attacks and strokes is significantly important for all people. Strokes are the third leading cause of death, as well as one of the leading financial drains of our health care system. Your university of Minnesota also benefits from the agreement. Rather than prattle on about a conflict of interest violation that occurred eight years ago and was resolved by all parties, we should question the agenda of how this became current news and why Star Tribune journalists continue to write about it. Who is after whom here and why? Is some power play at work here behind the scenes that we don’t know about? Let’s see what the next act in this play is, maybe that will tell us more.

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