Until recently, it was quite uncommon for physicians to have a consulting
relationship with the investment community. But the relationship of physicians
with financial entities has been radically transformed, with almost 1 of 10
US physicians currently engaged in a formal consultancy with the investment
industry.1- 4 Because
of investment firms’ interest in ongoing clinical research, the proportion
of academic physicians who have relationships with these financial entities
appears to be considerably higher. These relationships create opportunities
both for useful exchange of information and for potential conflict of interest,
particularly in the area of clinical research. In this article, we discuss
the scope of the convergence between physicians and investment firms, the
issues of conflict of interest, and propose recommendations for institutions
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