Stanford University Restricts Drug Company Funding

Stanford University has decided to restrict pharmaceutical companies’ financing of continuing education at the medical school. In the midst of widespread concern over drug companies’ influence on doctors’ education and practice, the university has taken the commendable step in refusing to allow the drug companies to cherry pick the courses they which to fund. Now, the pharmaceutical companies will be allowed to contribute to a pool and the university will disburse the funds in paying for the classes.
Stanford is now the sixth medical school in the country to restrict big pharma funding of its continuing education programs. Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center has banned outright pharmaceutical funding of these programs.
Under the old system, the pharmaceutical companies could use the classes as an influential marketing tool to doctors. The doctors are in the class because they are required to take the courses as part of their ongoing medical education. However, what has happened in the past is pharmaceutical companies bombard the doctors with their own products rather than providing sound medical education. Fortunately for consumers, some medical schools are now becoming more sensitive to the conflict.