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Northwestern Discloses Faculty Ties to Medical Industry

December 8, 2009 | by Marla Paul

CHICAGO - The Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine has launched enhanced faculty profiles on its web site that now include the external professional and industry relationships for about 2,000 full and part-time faculty members. The list includes physicians and basic research scientists.  

The Feinberg School developed this initiative in partnership with Northwestern Memorial Hospital and the Northwestern Medical Faculty Foundation, a multi-specialty physician practice. The voluntary disclosure places the institutions at the forefront of a national movement toward greater transparency. The profiles are available at http://fsmweb.northwestern.edu/faculty.

"The faculty of the Feinberg School interact with a number of professional organizations, government agencies, foundations, pharmaceutical companies and device manufacturers," noted J. Larry Jameson, M.D., vice president for medical affairs and the Lewis Landsberg Dean of the Feinberg School. "These activities enhance our ability to pursue our mission of educating and training the next generation of physicians and scientists and of advancing science to the benefit of patients and society. At the same time, we also recognize the importance of avoiding potential conflicts of interest, and we are committed to the transparency of these relationships. We hope our colleagues, patients and the public will find this information useful as they explore the expertise and many valuable activities of our faculty."  

The Feinberg faculty profiles will now include service on boards of directors, consulting and related activities, ownership or investment interests, royalties and inventor shares.  The profiles also will list such activities as lectures as well as participation in scientific advisory boards and professional societies. These enhanced faculty profiles also will be accessible through the web sites of Northwestern Memorial and the Faculty Foundation to ensure accessibility for patients.

"We are establishing this new method of communication because we firmly believe that the clarity achieved by full disclosure is necessary both to inform the public of all the professional activities of our faculty and to maintain its trust that we are fulfilling our missions to advance research and education and provide exceptional patient care," added Robert Rosa, M.D., dean for regulatory affairs and chief compliance officer.

Online disclosures by Northwestern and other medical schools about their faculties’ industry relationships are a response to national concern about doctors’ and researchers’ financial conflicts of interest.

Topics: University News