A Review of Canadian Medical School Conflict of Interest Policies


Background:Growing evidence of behavioral bias has caused a surge of interest in the area of Conflict of Interest (COI) within the medical community. The present study sought to evaluate the landscape of Faculty of Medicine COI policies among Canadian medical schools using an evaluation system adapted from the AMSA PharmFree Scorecard.Methods:The authors contacted leaders at the CPD/CME offices of all 17 Canadian medical schools in 2011 to determine how many had formal policies guiding interaction with the pharmaceutical industry. Existing policies were evaluated based on 16 criteria developed by a steering committee. A Policy Score was calculated and a letter grade assigned for each of the existing policies.Results:At the time of review, roughly 35% of the Canadian medical schools had faculty-wide COI policy/guidelines, half of which hadbeen implemented. Other policies are currently in development. Policy Scores ranged from 25.00% to 70.83% with a Mean Policy Score of 52.08%. Policies that were implemented all scored higher than those that were not implemented. Additionally, several strengths and weaknesses among policies were identified.Conclusions:Canadian schools have recognized that COI and bias have becomea serious issue and are taking stepstoward its management. The authors propose that the CMFS employ a system similar to the AMSA Scorecard to evaluate progress in a longitudinal study.

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Beyaert, M. , Takhar, J. , Dixon, D. , Steele, M. , Isserlin, L. , Garcia, C. , Pereira, I. and Eadie, J. (2013) A Review of Canadian Medical School Conflict of Interest Policies. Creative Education, 4, 217-222. doi: 10.4236/ce.2013.43032.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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