Drug makers and medical schools are under pressure to disclose their connections. Sen. Charles Grassley, a Republican from Iowa, has been investigating conflicts of interest in the industry and has proposed legislation requiring drug and device makers to regularly report their payments to doctors.
Improving *transparency* in healthcare is certainly a step in the right direction. I am just concerned about how far these conflict of interest policies might go. Do we really want to eliminate all conflicts of interest ??? Do we want academic physician innovators to be legislated out of existence? Will physicians have to choose a career in industry OR a career as a practicing physician? Do the two career paths need to be mutually exclusive? Practicing physicians are likely to see a problem in a different light than physicians purely based in industry. Do we want to prevent the two from working together to foster innovation? Should practicing physicians serve industry without economic incentive? There has to be a some give and take on both sides of this argument.