Pressure is building on Harvard Medical School to better regulate the massive gifts and consulting fees that faculty members regularly receive from drug companies, with increasing attention being drawn to the great potential for conflict of interest in such relationships.
"Before coming here, I had no idea how much influence companies had on medical education," said first-year medical student David Tian. "And it's something that's purposely meant to be under the table, providing information under the guise of education when that information is also presented for marketing purposes."
A student movement has recently taken form at Harvard Medical School, demanding widespread reform of the school's conflict-of-interest policies. The movement was sparked by a number of high-profile scandals in which Harvard medical faculty were revealed to have concealed hundreds of thousands of dollars in pharmaceutical company gifts, sparking a Senate investigation. This was followed by the American Medical Student Association giving the school an F grade for its conflict-of-interest disclosure policies.