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Stanford Medical Faculty Disciplined By School

Stanford Medical Faculty Disciplined By School [San Jose Mercury News, Calif.]

From San Jose Mercury News (CA) (May 20, 2011)

May 20--Five faculty members at Stanford University's School of Medicine have been disciplined for giving paid promotional speeches for drug companies, a direct violation of school policy.

"The actions are significant and have had an immediate impact or could have an impact in the future on their compensation or position within the medical school," said Paul Costello, medical school spokesman. Because Stanford personnel actions are confidential, no additional details were provided.

In December, the investigative reporting organization ProPublica found that Stanford and several other teaching hospitals were not enforcing their own conflict-of-interest rules and instead largely relied on the honor system. Changes in federal rules and laws may soon require more disclosure of payments to medical school faculty -- and potentially more monitoring by school officials.

Violators include Alan Yeung, Stanford's chief of cardiovascular medicine, who was paid $53,000 from Eli Lilly & speak at a "Healthcare Professional Education Program" in an appearance that included another $1,463 for travel and a $375 consulting fee. He reportedly quit speaking for the company last fall.

In 2009, Stanford School of Medicine Dean Philip Pizzo created a policy prohibiting such behavior among the university's 1,500 physicians.

The Stanford physicians were among 17,000 doctors nationwide who were paid a total of $257.8 million by seven companies in 2009

and the first two quarters of 2010, according the ProPublica database. In California, about 3,000 doctors received an estimated $28.6 million in payments from pharmaceutical companies for speeches promoting brand-label drugs to fellow doctors, the report said.

Contact Lisa M. Krieger at 408-920-5565.


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Posted: May 2011