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Medical Groups Must Sever Industry Ties: Article

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Professional medical groups must "wean" themselves from drug and medical device industry financial support and ties, a group of prominent physicians and researchers write in the April 1 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

They urged medical associations to adopt stricter conflict-of-interest guidelines that go beyond requiring disclosure of financial links to companies. The group also wants medical associations to forbid members who receive industry money from serving in leadership positions and on influential committees, The New York Times reported.

The group also called for a ban on corporate money for things such as souvenir pens, tote bags and sponsorship of committees that develop clinically important guidelines and training programs.

The authors of the article said it would be difficult to achieve these reforms, but such action is necessary if medical groups want to maintain their scientific integrity and the trust of their patients, the newspaper reported.

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