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Sen Grassley Asks Medical Societies About Industry Funding

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Sen Grassley Asks Medical Societies About Industry Funding

The Chiro.Org Blog

The ranking Republican on the US Senate Committee on Finance, Sen Charles E Grassley of Iowa, has sent letters to 33 medical societies, allied-health professional groups, and patient-centered organizations asking for details on any industry funding they and their leadership have received since January 2006, according to a press release issued by the senator’s office [1]. He’s interested in any financial backing they may have received from the pharmaceutical, medical device, and insurance industries.

The letter, which gives a December 21 deadline, is only the latest chapter in Grassley’s ongoing exploration of possible relationships between companies and medical groups and even some individual physicians.

“These organizations have a lot of influence over public policy, and people rely on their leadership. There’s a strong case for disclosure and the accountability that results,” Grassley said in the press release.

Organizations receiving the letter, it notes, include the American Heart Association, the American Society of Hypertension, the Heart Rhythm Society, and the American Diabetes Association, along with the American Medical Association and American Academy of Family Physicians. The American College of Cardiology isn’t on the published list.

The letter asks, among other things, for the organization to “explain what policies, if any, [it] plans to adopt to ensure transparency of funding in order to provide a greater public trust in the independence of your organization.”

1. Grassley works for disclosure of drug company payments to medical groups

Thanks to Medscape for access to this article!

By |December 12, 2009|News|9 Comments

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  1. Dr. Kevin Smith December 12, 2009 at 11:52 am

    Ultimately the money is going to be managed by the National Institute of Health. While the NIH has slightly warmed up to chiropractic, I remain somewhat skeptical that our profession will be receiving any significant increases in government money.


    Well, look at the studies that are being funded right now.

    I just wish they also carried a list of the proposals they rejected, so we’d get a sense of whether their is any bias in the approval process.

  2. Frank December 12, 2009 at 12:04 pm


    I believe the Senator is looking to see how funding from these special interests (pharmaceutical, medical device and insurance industries) are impacting the recommendations these medical societies make. Investigating “tail wagging the dog” scenarios.

    I have no objections to NIH holding the reins for research funds. It’s imcumbant on our profession to learn how to apply for and write grants. I believe Cheryl Hawk, DC was one of the first, and certainly the most prolific grant writer to be funded with Federal dollars, and she has offered classes at the yearly RAC (Research Agenda Conferences) on grant writing to other researchers.

  3. Graeme Gibson December 12, 2009 at 1:51 pm

    It has been my experience that when people have to forced to disclose something, it usually is not in their best interest to disclose it. Thus the fight to prevent the disclosure.

    The fact that we have to fight for this transparency and disclosure is very disturbing, yet it will continue to travel under the radar as a non event.



    I don’t think they are being “forced” per se. This could be the a “first” for drawing attention to how much money plays a role in the decision making of our brother/sister professions. And that’s a good thing.

  4. Dr. Kevin Smith December 15, 2009 at 10:36 pm

    Dr. Hawk was my teacher (for Fundamentals of Research) at Palmer. Great teacher and a heck of a nice person. We’re lucky to have an asset like her in the profession.


    Kevin, you lucky dog! She’s be perfect for teaching that class. I was not so fortunate (class 933).

    I met Cheryl through Palmer’s Practice-based Research Program, which she managed while she was still at Palmer, and I also met her at several RAC meetings. You are so right, she’s a jewel.

  5. Dr. Scott Garber December 17, 2009 at 4:32 pm

    I agree with Dr. Smith with regards to where the funding of the NIH will go to. It reminds me of when Pres. Bush was sending the average go a $600.00 stimulus check and checking corporate taxes by the billions. Sure, chiropractic will get something, about 1/2 of 1 percent while the big lobbyist with big pharm and ACA will be getting the rest.

  6. Dr. Joe Wood December 20, 2009 at 8:50 pm

    I am utterly disgusted with Washington in general. Everyone is jockeying for position to make sure the dollars keep flowing in their direction in spite of what is best for America. What needs to be reached is a compromise. Most MD’s would like to go back to a slower pace but be paid for what they do. Let them continue to treat pathology and emergent care.

    However, we need a new paradigm of Wellness care that is effective. If not the stats show that our obligation for Medicare alone will BK the country. A Wellness model would eventually decrease demand for pathology but not all path so the MD’s will be happy and so will the Hospitals. However, with people becoming healthier they tend to produce more thus decreasing cost to the employer.

    Wellness is a WIN/WIN scenario and if we don’t do it then look out! This puppy might be coming down. All the rest of this stuff is fan fare for the next election, a short sided view vs. a long term strategic view for our countries future.

  7. chiropracticpittsfield December 21, 2009 at 6:00 pm

    It all goes back to chiropractors stepping up to the plate, getting involved, and supporting research. I am going to a dinner at Parker seminars, a gala, at a cost of $350.00 to raise money for research. Another chiropractic friend of mine refuses to go because he does not think the dinner is worth $350.00. I could care less about the dinner, I am trying to save/advance the profession by bring valuable research to the table. We need money to do it.

  8. chiropracticpittsfield December 21, 2009 at 6:02 pm


    By the way… I want to again thank you, and the others, for helping to create this information center, sounding board, and think tank for the profession. I personally have benefited and it has raised my awareness and deepened my understanding of our profession.

  9. Marco La Starza, D.C. January 5, 2010 at 9:47 pm

    Yes, more money should go to research for our profession. We need everyone on board
    Is 2010 our year or decade?

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