Many leaders of influential U.S. medical societies have extensive financial relationships with drug and device makers, raising concerns about the extent to which industry may influence research, physician education, and treatment guidelines, a new study finds.
Specifically, 72% of 328 individuals who led 10 top professional societies had financial ties with industry. Over a recent five-year period, these individuals collectively received almost $130 million. And the median amount of money involved for each person during that time was more than $31,000, according to the study, which was published in The BMJ. No organization had a leadership free of financial ties.
There was, however, considerable variation among the different associations. For instance, the median payment for the leaders of the American Society of Clinical Oncology was $518,000, while the median payment for American Psychiatric Association leaders was just $212. Leaders were defined as the individuals who are on the boards or governing councils of the organizations.