The Updated AMSA Scorecard of Conflict-of-Interest Policies: A Survey of U.S. Medical Schools
BMC Medical Education, published August 12, 2016
This article describes the methodological update and impact of revisions to the American Medical Student Association’s annual conflict-of-interest (COI) scorecard. The scorecard grades medical schools on the strength of their COI policies that govern the relationships allowable with the pharmaceutical and medical device industries. This was the first study to identify schools with COI policies stronger than those recommended in 2008 by the Association of American Medical Colleges. The paper supports the notion that developing more stringent COI policies should be helpful in reducing the influence of pharmaceutical and device industry marketing on both trainees and faculty in American medical schools.
For the past decade, there has been a growing chorus of voices comprised of citizens, politicians and healthcare leaders calling for attention to the conflicts of interest in medicine. These conflicts of interests have led to an erosion of trust that is the foundation of the doctor-patient relationship. Medical schools and academic medical centers have played a powerful leadership role in setting new standards for the profession.
In 2007, The American Medical Student Association AMSA released the first Scorecard. The Scorecard has been updated over time, and we are proud of the rigorous and transparent methodology used to assess medical school policies. All policies will be blinded and rated by multiple reviewers for the core policy domains. Please visit the methodology section of the AMSA Scorecard for full details on these policy domains and rating system.
The Scorecard initiative keeps with AMSA’s campaigns which advocate for evidence-based rather than marketing-based prescribing practices and the removal of conflicts of interest in medicine. AMSA provides toolkits, educational materials, and training institutes to help medical students advance towards these goals.