Partners has anounced that it will implement a new conflict of interest policy. You can read the press release and summary of the policy here. I also recommend reading the excellent Boston Globe coverage here.
--A sweeping ban of all gifts, including meals and textbooks. This makes it a true gift ban, unlike John's Hopkins half hearted gift ban which I panned here.
--While industry funds for CME will still be accepted, they will have to be pooled into a hospital-wide President's Fund, or they will have to be approved by a newly established "Educational Review Board." Any program that passes muster with this new ERB must be jointly funded by at least two companies, lessening the potential for product-specific promotional bias.
--Faculty will no longer be allowed to be hired guns for drug companies.
Let's get real. Industry funds education in order to promote their products. Thus, any CME program that holds itself out as "independent" of industry influence, is inherently a deception. It's rather embarrassing that the Harvard hospitals, with their incredible endowments, brainpower, and prestige, can't simply get it together to do the right thing, which is to say: WE WON'T TAKE ANY DRUG COMPANY MONEY FOR PHYSICIAN EDUCATION.