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Elizabeth A. Kitsis, MD, MBE

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Presentation on theme: "Elizabeth A. Kitsis, MD, MBE"— Presentation transcript:

1 Elizabeth A. Kitsis, MD, MBE
Bioethics 1 May 5, 2011 No conflicts to disclose

2 Learning Objectives To define “conflict of interest” (COI)
To appreciate the potential impacts of COI To understand ways in which COI can be prevented or managed

3 Anyone can have a COI…

4 Justice Clarence Thomas and COI

5 Famous people…

6 Schwarzenegger’s $8 million deal
Is California governor’s fitness magazine contract a conflict of interest? Executive editor of Flex Muscle & Fitness Pay comes from advertising revenue; magazine ads feature nutritional supplements Vetoed legislation restricting nutritional supplements July 14, 2005

7 Aqueduct Racino Acqueduct Raceway to become Casino
Paterson chose Aqueduct Entertainment Group in Jan, 10 Met with Reverand Floyd Flake 3 days later Flake had expressed support for Cuomo 1 week earlier Federal prosecutors investigating contract Paterson reversed decision on 3/11/10

8 Journalists…

9 Corrections: For the Record NY TIMES EDITORIAL
”The Times acknowledges that accepting money from the very corporations whose activities we are responsible for reporting on — running ads from ExxonMobil while reporting on climate change, for example, or from weapons manufacturers while reporting on the Iraq War — represents an obvious conflict of interest.”

10 Government institutions…

11 Former FDA Chief Lester Crawford to Plead Guilty in Fraud Case
WASHINGTON —  Former FDA chief Lester Crawford will plead guilty for failing to disclose a financial interest in companies his agency regulated, his lawyer said Monday. The Justice Department accused the former head of the FDA with falsely reporting that he had sold stock in companies when he continued holding shares in the firms governed by FDA rules.” (Feb 15, 2005) Owned > $25,000 worth of stock in: Sysco—food product manufacturer Pepsico—snack food manufacturer while chairing obesity panel making decisions re food & beverage companies

12 Prestigious medical centers…

13 Wait, wait, don’t tell me…

14 Wait, wait, don’t tell me…
Joseph Biederman, MD Director, Pediatric Psychopharmacology Unit Massachusetts General Hospital Value Scope Accountability Work fueled 40X increase in diagnosis of bipolar disorder in kids between , with associated increase in antipsychotic Rxs Accused of earning $1.6 M in consulting fees from with minimal disclosure (NY Times, 2008) Accused of promising J&J that research on company drugs would yield positive results before beginning studies (Boston Globe, 2009)

15 Wait, wait, don’t tell me…

16 Wait, wait, don’t tell me…
Charles Nemeroff, MD (Former) Chairman of Psychiatry Emory University Accused of earning $2.8 M from drug companies from , failing to disclose at least $1.2 M (New York Times, 2008)

17 Wait, wait, don’t tell me…
Insert video

18 Conflict of Interest Definition
“A set of circumstances that creates a risk that professional judgment or actions regarding a primary interest will be unduly influenced by a secondary interest.” 3 key elements: Primary interest Secondary interest Conflict Institute of Medicine, 2009

19 Elements of COI Primary interests—determined by professional duties
Patient welfare Scientific integrity Quality of medical education Professional obligations Varies according to purpose of professional activity Primary interests include: promoting & protecting each primary interest—pt welfare, scientific integrity, quality of medical education Institute of Medicine, 2009

20 Elements of COI Financial gain Secondary Interests Personal
Institutional Grant support Publications Prestige Career growth Financial—not more important, but more objective and quantifiable; so more effectively and fairly regulated Also man mechanism through which for-profit companies exert influence on physicians and researchers Most secondary interests are legitimate and even desirable; only objectionable when they have greater weight than primary interest Institute of Medicine, 2009

21 Conflict Circumstances or relationships that increase or create risk that primary interests will be neglected because of pursuit of secondary interests Primary interests are not necessarily compromised, but the risk exists that they could be COI exists whether or not an individual or institution is actually influenced by secondary interest Institute of Medicine, 2009

22 Conflict of Commitment
Conflict between what institutions view as employees’ primary responsibilities to the institution and the employee’s outside commitments Difficult decisions about how to divide time between research and other responsibilities Concern is about time and effort, not undue influence Related but different type of conflict Responsibilities to institution (employer v. responsibiilities to outside organizations (professional societies, teaching at other institutions) Institute of Medicine, 2009

23 Conflict of Obligation
Individual or institution has duties that require different actions, but only one action can be taken in the given circumstance Ethical dilemma in which two values conflict and difficult choice between them must be made Maintaining confidentiality of patient with infectious disease may conflict with maintaining safety of patient’s contacts Ethical dilemma is an example Institute of Medicine, 2009

24 Non-Financial COI What should be done?
Expect that physicians, researchers & IRBs will act with these conflicts in mind Acknowledge COI are intrinsic to the practice of medicine and research Create institutional policies and cultures that address both financial and nonfinancial COI Just a word about non-financial COI. Perhaps just as important if not more important than financial COI. But they are not easy to measure.

25 Identify a conflict of interest, commitment, or obligation
For the next few minutes, I would like you to each identify a conflict of interest, commitment, or obligation that you have personally encountered, know about, or have heard about one in the news. Talk to the person next two you. Identify the primary interest, the secondary interest, and the conflict.

26 Approach to a potential COI
Is there a COI? If so, how severe is it? Importance of financial relationship for furthering primary medical values? IOM, 2009 COI are not binary—that is they are not either present or not present. They can be more or less severe. Approach considers general judgments about situations; not evaluations of behavior (although previous behavior can be considered)

27 Criteria for Assessing the Severity of COI
Likelihood of undue influence by a secondary interest Seriousness of the possible harm that could result from such an influence Most important factors to be considered in making decisions about COI IOM, 2009

28 Severity of COI: Likelihood of Undue Influence?
What is the value of the secondary influence? Greater value, more likely its influence What is the scope of the relationship? Duration & depth of relationships What is the extent of discretion? Latitude in decision-making Greater value, more influence (board member paid large fees>one-time speaker) Scope—longer & closer relationship—greater risk (examples: multi-year consultants, long-term funding) Discretion—more latitude in making decisions—greater likelihood of COI (PI of clinical trial has discretion over multiple small decisions; can be balanced by DSMB or external audit) IOM, 2009

29 Severity of COI: Seriousness of Possible Harm
What is the value of the primary interest? What is the scope of the consequences? Greater scope, more serious potential for harm What is the extent of accountability? Less accountability, more serious harm Accountability is also greater if sanctions for violations are significant and imposed in timely fashion Greater scope of consequences, more serious is potential for harm (e.g. practice guidelines or results from clinical trials for common conditions can affect millions of patients) Less accountability: can be bolstered by independent review of decisions by colleagues or other authorities who have no conflicts of their own IOM, 2009

30 “All Gifts Large and Small”
Presumption is that large gifts influence behavior, but small gifts do not Gift exchange underlies human tendency to engage in networks of obligation Obligation to directly reciprocate, conscious or unconscious, tends to influence behavior Multiiple reports in social sciences literature “Much obliged” = “thank you” Katz, Caplan, Merz, Am J Bioethics, 2003

31 Case Study Approximately 4,000,ooo Americans have Alzheimer’s
P. Trey Sunderland—leading NIH psychiatric researcher Led an NIH study of Alzheimer’s patients in collaboration with Pfizer (Aricept) Accepted $300,000 from Pfizer from and did not disclose this income Caught by NIH ethics officer Congressional Subcommittee Hearing Sentenced to two years probation Pay $300,000 Perform 400 hours of community service

32 What do you think? Likelihood
What is the value of the secondary interest? What is the scope of the relationship? What is the extent of discretion? Seriousness What is the value of the primary interest? What is the scope of the consequences What is the extent of accountability? Value of secondary interest=$300,000 Value of primary interest—health of patients with Alzheimer’s in trial Scope=5 years Scope of consequences—results of trial could potentially impact 4,000,000 patients with Alzheimer’s Discretion—caught by NIH ethics officer Extent of accountability—whistleblower; NIH ethics officer; sanctions—fine, probation, community service Discretion—caught by NIH ethics officer Extent of accountability

33 COI can happen in multiple medical settings
Clinical Practice Medical Education Clinical Research Academic Medical Centers Professional Societies Practice Guideline Development Pharmaceutical Companies

34 COI in Clinical Practice
Physician payment Self-referral and MD ownership of health care facilities Industry-related activities 3 areas

35 COI in Clinical Practice
Physician payment Fee for service-- volume of services? Capitated payment-- provision of care? Payments related to: Quality Patient satisfaction Outcomes Physician payment is secondary interest

36 Self-Referral & MD Ownership
35% increase in number of ambulatory surgery centers between 2000 and 2004; 83% partly or wholly owned by MDs (Pham & Ginsburg, 07) # of cardiac and orthopedic specialty hospitals serving Medicare patients grew from 21 in ‘98 to 67 in ‘03 Secondary interest (income from increased services) may compromise primary interest in patient welfare Stark Laws prevent MDs from referring Medicare or Medicaid beneficiaries to centers in which MDs or families have interests

37 COI in Medical Education How pervasive is it?
2006 survey of department chairs at medical schools & 15 largest independent teaching hospitals re industry support 65% of clinical departments for CME 37% for residency or fellowship training 19% unrestricted funds for department operations 17% for research & equipment IOM, 2009

38 AMSA Pharm-Free Scorecard
Evaluates conflict of interest policies at U.S. medical and osteopathic schools Uses letter grades to assess schools’ performance in 11 potential areas of conflict Focuses on individual physician and trainee Started in 2007

39 NYC Medical School Grades AMSA Pharm-Free Scorecard
Grade Grade Mount Sinai A A Einstein B C New York University B B Columbia C B Touro C F Weill-Cornell D D SUNY Downstate D I I = Policies are under revision www/

40 COI in Continuing Medical Education
% of support from industry (approximate) % % % IOM, 2009

41 COI in Clinical Research Where does it occur?
Investigator IRB Academic Medical Center Pharmaceutical Industry

42 Investigator COI Primary Interests Patient Welfare Science
Secondary Interests Financial Individual Recognition Publication Grant Support Career Ladder

43 Institutional COI in Research
Primary Interest Patient Welfare Scientific Advancement Secondary Interests More Patients Financial Institutional Reputation

44 Bayh-Dole Act of 1980 “Erased an ethical bright line between academic and corporate medicine” Allowed institutions to patent discoveries resulting from federally funded research Universities could retain licenses and royalty fees, which they typically share with the scientists who developed the discovery Pence, 2008

45 Cortisone: Philip Hench + Merck Insulin: Banting & Best + Lilly
Why Allow Ties to Industry? The Value of Academia-Industry Collaborations Cortisone: Philip Hench + Merck Insulin: Banting & Best + Lilly Penicillin: Alexander Fleming + Pfizer Gleevec: (Druker & Lydon & Sawyers) + Novartis U.S. Pharmaceutical industry invested $47.9 billion in R&D in 2007

46 A few bad eggs, imperfect disclosure, or the tip of the iceberg?
What’s going on?

47 “Framing Bias” “Conflict” has negative connotation
Negates alignments and common interests Society wants effective new treatments Academia wants to translate basic science discoveries into new treatments Industry wants to develop new products QUESTION: ARE THE MISSIONS OF ACADEMIA AND INDUSTRY ALIGNED? Lo article—no (profit v. deepening understanding of health & disease and providing high quality care)

48 The Value of Academia-Industry Collaborations
Association of Clinical Researchers & Educators Thomas Stossel, Avi Markowitz Emphasizes value of physician-industry interactions “The entire field is being punished for the actions of a couple of Bernie Madoffs.” (Markowitz) Advocate treating financial COI like scientific misconduct; weed out those who misbehave Willyard, 2009

49 Impact of COI What do the data show?

50 How Extensive are Academia-Industry Relationships?
2006 national survey of department chairs 67% of departments had relationships with industry 60% of department chairs had relationships Consultant (27%) Advisory Board member (27%) Paid speaker (14%) Board member (11%) Officer (7%) Founder (9%) (Campbell, et al, 2007)

51 “Physicians and the Pharmaceutical Industry: Is a Gift Ever Just a Gift?”
Results Meetings w/reps were associated w/requests by MDs to add drugs to formularies Meetings w/reps were associated w/changes in prescribing practices Industry-sponsored CME programs highlighted the sponsor’s drugs compared w/other CME programs Attendance at sponsored CME events was associated w/increased prescription rates of sponsor’s product Considered key study Medline search of articles from using terms “conflict of interest” and “drug industry” Wazana, JAMA 2000

52 “Scope & Impact of Financial COI in Biomedical Research”
Results 25% of investigators had industry ties 67% of academic institutions held equity in start-ups that sponsored research at their institutions Eight articles (which together reviewed 1140 original studies) assessed the relationship between industry sponsorship and study outcome. There was a statistically significant association between industry sponsorship and pro-industry conclusions. Medline search —retrieved 37 studies Bekelman, Li, Gross, JAMA 2003

53 So what should we do? Possible Solutions

54 Potential Remedies for Financial COI
Policies Disclosure Management (COI Committees) Distancing Divestiture of Interest Prohibition

55 IOM General Recommendations
Adopt & implement COI policies Strengthen disclosure policies Standardize disclosure content and format Create a national program for the reporting of company payments IOM, 2009

56 IOM Report: Disclosure
Essential, but limited first step Advocates standardizing content, format & procedures Allows for assessment of severity, requiring: Management of relationship Elimination of relationship Ummm, so you stand to make money by enrolling me in this trial? That sounds bad. What?? Oh, so you must really think this is a good drug. That’s great.

57 Weaknesses of Disclosure
Reveals a problem; does not resolve it Individuals may not know how to interpret information Individuals may think if MD is involved in research, it might be more likely to benefit them Disclosure may not provide protection from legal liability No data indicate that disclosures deter MDs from entering into COI Weinfurt, et al., 2009

58 Wait, wait, don’t tell me…

59 Senator Charles Grassley-- Iowa (R) Physician Payments Sunshine Act

60 Sunshine Act Passed Start recording Jan 1, 2012
Start reporting March 31, 2013 Definition of payment: gift, food, entertainment, honoraria, travel, research funding, education, charitable contribution, compensation for faculty or speaking engagement, consulting fees, ownership or investment interest, royalties, license fee, dividends, profit distribution, stock or stock option grant Excluded: anything of value <$10

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