Bradley F. Marple, MD, a member of the ENT Today editorial board, is Professor and Vice-Chair, and Matthew W. Ryan, MD, is Assistant Professor, in the Department of Otolaryngology at University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas.
Explore this issue:April 2009
By the end of 2008, almost two dozen inquiries had been sent to several major academic institutions requesting financial information on individual physicians involved in federally funded studies. Through this process, Senators Herb Kohl (D-WI) and Charles Grassley (R-IA) intend to work with universities to compare honoraria received from the pharmaceutical and device industry with that reported by these federally funded investigators, while simultaneously sending a firm message regarding the current state of financial conflict of interest in the medical profession.(1)
Sens. Kohl and Grassley, in their ranking roles on the US Senate Special Committee on Aging and Committee on Finance, respectively, share responsibility for 80 million Americans covered by Medicare and Medicaid and the health services that apply to this population. From this perspective, they have launched a series of investigations intended to better understand influences on the cost and delivery of health care, and in so doing, have shed light on the potential that industry is inappropriately influencing medical professionals through monetary inducements.