The Cleveland Clinic will become the first medical center to disclose business relationships between its professional staff and the private sector.
The move is a response to increased scrutiny regarding conflicts of interest when providers enter into such relationships on the Q-T.
Cleveland Clinic also hopes to avoid the epidemic of media spectacles involving renowned physicians at other instutitions who were involved in deals that could adversely impact medical care and research.
One recent case involved Harvard child psychologist Joe Biederman, who has been accused by Congress of failing to report more than $1 million in income from drug makers including Johnson & Johnson.
Atlanta surgeons Regis W. Haid and Gerald Rodts received similar notoriety for touting Medtronic’s Infuse for cervical spine surgery, as has Emory University’s Charles Nemeroff, a psychiatrist who failed to disclose large cash payments from Big Pharma.
Iowa Senator Charles Grassley praised the move by Cleveland Clinic. “Patients deserve easy access to information about their doctors’ relationships with drug companies,” he told the New York Times.
The Clinic plans to post on www.clevelenadclinic.org the names of providers receiving more than $5,000 per year from drug and device makers.
Clinic management believes that less than one quarter of its 1,800 physicians and scientists have anything to disclose.