AMSA Pharm-free Scorecard 2010
A Johns Hopkins School of Medicine
City: Baltimore State: MD

Johns Hopkins School of Medicine has a set of very strong policies governing the relationships between its medical staff and the pharmaceutical industry. Particular highlights include language ensuring independent content at speaking engagements paid by industry, a complete ban on pharmaceutical samples and vouchers, and a detailed, strict policy requiring the recusal of staff from purchasing decisions up to one year after a conflict of interest has occurred. This school has improved its scores on disclosure and speaking relationships between faculty and industry. In the case of disclosure, the institution has a strong annual internal disclosure program for COIs. Speaking relationships where industry creates or controls content are now explicitly prohibited as well, giving the institution high scores for industry-funded speaking.

Updates: This institution submitted updated policies to the 2012-3 AMSA PharmFree Scorecard.


This institution's evaluation was last updated: 4/9/2013.

Gifts & Meals 2 In general, gifts and on-site meals from industry are prohibited, though certain exceptions apply. Unbranded textbooks and anatomical models and illustrations may be given by industry if distributed through the department or the medical school. Meals are prohibited both on-site and at professional activities off-site. Exceptions to this rule are meals associated with accredited CME, when providing legitimate consulting services, at professional society meetings, and during meetings for ongoing research projects. In addition, in-kind gifts may be given to the institution or department after review by legal counsel.
Consulting relationships 3 Consulting relationships must be described in a formal contract, must be reported in advance and reviewed by the department head, and then further reported to the Office of Policy Coordination. Compensation for consulting without commensurate services is considered a gift and is prohibited.
Industry-funded speaking relationships 3 This policy is exemplary in its regulation of paid speaking engagements with industry. Faculty must retain "full control and authority over professional material the faculty member presents and does not allow such communications or presentations to be subject to prior approval by any commercial interest. While this policy prohibits faculty from receiving compensation to act as a spokesperson for an industry product, it does not fully prohibit speakers' bureaus or long-term speaking arrangements with industry.
Disclosure 2 Annual internal disclosure of financial COIs and relationships is required.
Pharmaceutical samples 3 Exemplary. "The practice of accepting free pharmaceutical samples risks interference with one's prescribing practices since industry representatives often provide the newest and most costly drugs. Therefore free pharmaceutical samples and vouchers for free pharmaceutical samples may not be accepted." Johns Hopkins has planned to phase-in this new and commendable policy over the course of one year.
Purchasing & Formularies 3 Exemplary. Individuals with financial conflicts of interest must recuse themselves from relevant purchasing decisions for at least one year after the receipt of the last payment from the company in question, one year after an immediate family member terminates employment with the company, or for as long as an individual has equity interest in the company.
Industry Sales Representatives 2 Industry sales representatives may come on-site by invitation only, and are restricted to non-patient care areas (except for the purpose of training on devices).
On-campus Education 2 Although the Office of Continuing Medical Education most process all requests for, and receive all industry funds given in support of continuing education, the policy does not state that industry may not influence how such funds are used. Unrestricted funds from industry in support of unaccredited educational events must be reviewed by the Vice Dean for Education to ensure educational value. These funds must go to departmental accounts, which can allow for funding bias in topic selection. Of additional note is this institution's detailed policy for dealing with conflict of interest of presenters at accredited CME events, which includes review of presentation materials and in some cases requested revisions or other corrective actions.
Attendance at Industry-Sponsored Lectures & Meetings Off-Campus 3 The institution's gifts policy prevent s personnel from accepting payment to attend at off-site events, nor may personnel accept industry funds to travel off site unless providing contractual services. Students may use unrestricted funds from industry for such travel, but industry may not select who receives this travel support. In general, faculty, students and staff are strongly discouraged from attending promotional speaking events off-site, and if they do so should pay for their own meals.
Industry Support for Scholarships & Funds for Trainees 3 Award from industry are permitted, but the evaluation and selection of recipients may only be conducted by the School of Medicine.
Medical school curriculum 2 Each JHM entity must publicize the policy to al personnel. However there is no stipulation requiring education on the influence of the pharmaceutical industry on the medical profession, nor curricular materials provided to this effect.
Do the policies specify an oversight mechanism? Yes Oversight is established through the Office of Policy Coordination
Are there explicit sanctions for noncompliance? Yes This policy makes reference to sanctions.
What the results mean...
3Model policy
2Good progress toward model policy
1No policy, or policy unlikely to have a substantial effect on behavior
0Did not report
N/APolicy not relevant to this institution (e.g., does not make purchasing decisions)