ACP-ASIM updates ethical advice for relationships between physicians and industry

(PHILADELPHIA, March 5, 2002) The American College of Physicians-American Society of Internal Medicine (ACP-ASIM) has released guidelines for ethical business relationships between physicians, medical education providers, medical professional societies and for-profit entities. The article appears in the March 5, 2002, issue of Annals of Internal Medicine.

The two-part paper, which updates a 1990 American College of Physicians paper on physician-pharmaceutical industry relations, contains four guiding positions derived from the medical professions basic responsibility to advocate for the patients best interests. The first part of the paper offers advice to individual physicians about accepting gifts and entering into other financial relationships with industry. The second part of the paper provides guidance for medical education providers and professional medical societies that accept corporate funding.

William J. Hall, MD, president of ACP-ASIM, said, We revisited the 1990 paper because of the growing influence of for-profit companies in medical practice, research and education and new kinds of business and financial relationships between physicians and industry. Physicians must take care that financial and other material relationships with industry dont threaten their independent judgment about patient care.

ACP-ASIM urges individual physicians, medical education organizations and other medical professional societies that accept pharmaceutical industry support for educational activities to avoid all industry relationships that might diminish their objectivity as they act in their patients best interests.

1. ACP-ASIM strongly discourages physicians from accepting gifts, hospitality, trips and all types of subsidies from industry. However, rather than prohibiting acceptance of any gifts, the organization encourages physicians to make decisions on a case-by-case basis.

ACP-ASIM advises physicians to determine the purpose

Contact: Susan Anderson
American College of Physicians

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