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California medical schools earn A's in conflict grading
Key Excerpts from Article on Website of San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco's leading newspaper

San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco's leading newspaper, June 4, 2008
Posted: June 10th, 2008

Drug companies shower medical school faculty members with pens, pricey dinners, free samples and other inducements to influence their prescribing patterns, an organization of U.S. medical students says. The med students are now trying to erase that pattern by grading their teachers. The American Medical Student Association issued its second annual report card ... on the conflict-of-interest policies maintained at 150 universities that grant a medical degree. California dominated the honor roll. UC Davis, UCSF and UCLA captured three of the seven A grades across the country. But only 15 percent of U.S. medical schools made the top of the class with a grade of A or B, based on their adoption of rules such as barring drug companies from distributing lavish gifts to physicians. Sixty of the schools, or 40 percent, got an F on the student association's 2008 PharmFree Scorecard. The American Medical Student Association started its PharmFree campaign in 2002 after members shared their concerns about interactions they observed between their medical professors and drug industry representatives. The Association of American Medical Colleges in April proposed that all med schools adopt policies to prevent drug marketing efforts from distorting the educational environment. The proposed rules would restrict industry funding of seminars, forbid companies from selecting the recipients of scholarships they fund and strongly discourage medical school faculty members from participating in industry-sponsored speakers' bureaus.

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