The Institute of Medicine has released a broad-reaching report recommending a number of changes to be implemented in an effort to stop conflicts of interest between doctors, researchers and drug makers.

The summary of the recommendations are:

1. Drug companies must disclose any payments they make to doctors, hospitals, and many other institutions. […]

2. Doctors should no longer accept any free meals, gifts or other items from companies. […]

3. Doctors must not participate in speakers bureaus for drug companies.

4. Doctors must not do clinical research if they have a financial interest in the outcome of the research. […]

5. Revamp the system of continuing medical education (CME) so that there is no more industry influence in the content.

Dr. Carlat ends with the conclusion, “The bottom line is that this report will serve as the authoritative guide for medical centers and policy makers for the next several years as they clean up conflicts of interest in medicine. Change is coming, big time.”

Indeed, it does look like the conflicts of interest publicized by folks like Dr. Carlat and Senator Grassley’s investigations is snowballing into real change in the industry and how it demands professionals handle conflicts of interest. The sooner the better, because our research base today is contaminated in ways we do not fully understand or appreciate. Meaning some of our knowledge when it comes to things like a drug’s effectiveness is likely flawed and based upon incomplete or biased data.

Read the full article: Historic IOM Report: A Knock-Out Blow to Greed in Medicine