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Miller School Launches Web Site Detailing Faculty Disclosure Information

4/2/2010

The Miller School has taken an important new step in an effort to uphold the highest ethical standards as an institution by launching a publicly accessible Web site detailing outside professional activities disclosed by medical school faculty during the University’s 2009 fiscal year. These activities include research and educational interactions between faculty members and private companies such as drug manufacturers and device makers.

"With this step we join the ranks of a small but growing number of leading academic medical centers to publicly report the outside professional activities of faculty physicians and scientists," said Miller School Dean Pascal J. Goldschmidt, M.D. "This enhanced disclosure initiative is the next logical step in the contract of trust we have with our patients and our community."

The Web site (www.med.miami.edu/about/opa.asp) is searchable by the name of the faculty member or the name of a company, and will be updated at least annually. Future refinements to the Web site will include the amount of compensation faculty members receive for their outside professional activities. The initiative to ensure accurate self-reporting of such outside professional activities is being supported by the Medical School Council and the University of Miami Medical Group governing board, along with senior University leadership.

"Timely and complete disclosure of these outside activities is paramount to our reputation as a world-class institution and to the integrity of the research process," said UM President Donna E. Shalala. "It reflects our steadfast commitment to putting the patient’s interests first."

For UM’s 2009 fiscal year, which ended last May 31, 95 percent of Miller School faculty completed their annual faculty disclosure form listing outside professional activities.

A task force created by the Association of American Medical Colleges recently urged all medical schools and teaching hospitals to prohibit drug industry gifts and services to faculty physicians and trainees and to curtail industry involvement in continuing medical education activities. The Miller School has guidelines in place to eliminate all inappropriate industry influence over clinical practices and research.