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Patients seek disclosure

Yale Medicine Magazine, 2010 - Autumn


Most patients and research subjects believe that doctors and scientists should disclose their financial ties with pharmaceutical and medical device companies, according to a report by School of Medicine researchers published in Archives of Internal Medicine in April.

“We found that patients and research subjects believe financial ties affect professional behavior,” said lead author Cary P. Gross, M.D., associate professor of medicine. In their review of 20 surveys conducted primarily with patients, Gross and his colleagues found that many patients view physician ties to drug companies as unacceptable or inappropriate, and that a quarter of the patients surveyed reported less willingness to participate in re-search after disclosure of financial ties. Gross and his team hope that their research will inform pending national legislation to require that physicians publicly report their ties to pharmaceutical and medical device companies.

“We hope our study will improve the design of these public reporting systems, perhaps by highlighting the kind of information patients want disclosed and shedding light on how they will think about that information,” said first author Adam Licurse, M.D. ’10.

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