Professional & Governing Organizations

Some organizations have instituted policies that affect the PharmFree movement, particularly at academic medical centers.

Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC)
American Medical Association (AMA)
American College of Physicians (ACP)
Pharmaceutical Reserach and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA)


Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC)

Industry Funding of Mecdical Education: Report of an AAMC Task Force: Released in June 2008, the AAMC makes strong recommendations regarding industry relationships within medical education.

What does it recommend?

  • Prohibit acceptance of all gifts from industry, both on- and off-site.
  • Meals from industry should be prohibited, except when in conjuction with accredited CE
  • Samples should be centrally managed
  • Industry reps should not be allowed in patient care areas
  • Audit mechanisms should be in place for CME
  • CME funding should move through a central office
  • Participation in speakers' bureuas should be strongly discouraged
  • Faculty and students should not accept payment or gifts for attendance at industry-sponsored meetings
  • Scholarships from industry must eb given centrally, industry should not select recipients
  • Travel funds from industry shoul not be accepted except for legitimate services provided
  • Ghostwriting should be prohibited
  • Those involved in P&T or purchasing committees should recuse themselves from decisions wherein they have external financial conflicts.

Link to the AAMC Report


American Medical Association (AMA)

Industry Support of Professional Education in Medicine: Report 1 of the Council on Ethical and Judicial Affairs: Although the recommendations in this report were not adopted by the AMA, the council on Ethical and Judicial Affairs judged that:

  • Individuals and intitutes of medicine must not accept industry funding to support professional educational activiites.
  • Further, gifts and meals from industry, along with visits from industry sales representatives, must be limited to the greatest degree possible.

Link to CEJA Report


American College of Physicians (ACP)

Medical Professionalism in the New Millennium: A Physician Charter
The charter states: "Medical professionals and their organizations have many opportunities to compromise their professional responsibilities by pursuing private gain or personal advantage. Such compromises are especially threatening in the pursuit of personal or organizational interactions with for-profit industries, including medical equipment manufacturers, insurance companies, and pharmaceutical firms. Physicians have an obligation to recognize, disclose to the general public, and deal with conflicts of interest that arise in the course of their professional duties and activities. Relationships between industry and opinion leaders should be disclosed, especially when the latter determine the criteria for conducting and reporting clinical trials, writing editorials or therapeutic guidelines, or serving as editors of scientific journals."

Link to ACP Charter of Professionalism


Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA)

PhRMA voluntary Code: Interactions with Healthcare Professionals: The new 2008 PhRMA code increased in some aspects the strength of its guidelines, representing an important step forward in industry recognition of these issues. However the code still allows for some concernign marketign practices. Firther, the code is voluntary, and not all pharmaceutical companies are members of Pharma. Notably, The Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) decided against adopting the PhRMA code at a board meeting this fall.

What does the 2008 code recommend?

  • Industry-sponsored meals must be modest and may only be provided in-office or in-hospital
  • No entertainment or recreational items may be given
  • No non-educational items, including pens, pads, mugs, reminder items with product logos
  • Educational items for clinicians or patients allowed if under $100
  • Companies must separate CME departments from Sales and Marketing departments
  • No direct support or subsidies for travel or attendence should be given to individual confrence attendees
  • Consulting relationship compensation must be reasonable and fair market value
  • Cunsultants only retained if theere is real and identified need, and only in numbers necessary to accomplish the task
  • An annual cap on individual speakers fees is to be established by each company
  • PhRMA website will list companies that pledge to adhere to Code

Link to PhRMA Code