Draft of Ethics Reform at Minnesota Medical School Criticized

Critics say dean's plan is significantly less stringent than changes recommended by task force.

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A University of Minnesota Medical School memo written by the dean (leaked to the Minnesota Daily) outlines an ethics reform plan that is far less severe than a conflict-of-interest task force had previously recommended.

Critics say the new report inexplicably leaves out some of the strongest and boldest recommendations by the committee. The missing or altered suggestions include:

  • Severing financial ties between industry and continuing medical education programs, a change that "would have put Minnesota on the map."
    • The task force hoped to require faculty and staff to disclose all financial relationships with industry, no matter how little the amount. The dean's memo recommended lowering the $10,000 threshold to $500.
      • The task force recommended that faculty must fully disclose the source of research funding, particularly those with clinical trials paid for by industry. The dean's plan does not include any similar provisions for disclosure.