Author Insights: Leaders at Academic Centers Often on Drug Company Boards

news@JAMA

Walid F. Gellad, MD, MPH, of the University of Pittsburgh and staff physician at the Pittsburgh VA Medical Center and colleagues, found many leaders at academic medical centers are paid to serve on pharmaceutical company boards. Image: iStock.com/graffoto8 Walid F. Gellad, MD, MPH, of the University of Pittsburgh and colleagues, found many leaders at academic medical centers are paid to serve on pharmaceutical company boards. Image: iStock.com/graffoto8

Many leaders at academic medical centers are doing double duty, serving on the boards of pharmaceutical companies and being paid handsomely for it, finds an analysis published in JAMA today.

Nearly half of the top 50 pharmaceutical companies worldwide have leaders from top academic medical centers on their boards. Of the 17 US drug companies, 16 count academic center leaders. These individuals, who included 2 university presidents, 6 deans, 6 hospital system executives, and 7 department chairs or directors. The average compensation they received for board service was $312 564. By comparison, the average dean of medicine earns $445 781, and the average associate dean at a medical school makes $196 212, according to a 2012-2013 survey by the College and University Professional Association…

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