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The symptom? Nervousness. The cause? Doctors' financial ties

April 27, 2010 |  3:51 pm

Office Doctors' ties to drug and medical device companies can make patients and research participants a bit uncomfortable, a new study establishes (yet again). Yale University researchers reviewed previous surveys on the topic and concluded:

"Patients believe that [financial ties] influence professional behavior and should be disclosed. Patients, physicians, and research participants believe [financial ties] decrease the quality of research evidence, and, for some, knowledge of [financial ties] would affect willingness to participate in research."

Here's the abstract of the study, as published Monday in Archives of Internal Medicine, the press release from Yale University and a quick overview of the issue from MedPage Today.

Along these lines, the Council of Medical Specialty Societies, which represents 32 medical societies, announced last week a new ethics code intended to limit potential influence over patient care. Here's that story, "Doctor groups set new policy to curb industry sway."

Concern about such ties seems to be building -- in some circles anyway.

-- Tami Dennis

Photo: Los Angeles Times