Downstate College of Medicine, State University of New York.
Collaborations between physicians, particularly those in academic medicine, and industries that develop pharmaceutical products, medical devices and diagnostic tests have led to substantial advances in patient care. At the same time, there is a strong awareness that these relationships, however beneficial they may be, should conform to established principles of ethical professional practice. Through a writing committee drawn from diverse disciplines across several institutions, the Association of Clinical Researchers and Educators (ACRE) has written a code of conduct to provide guidance to physicians in observing these principles. Our recommendations are not intended to be prescriptive or inflexible, but rather to be of assistance to physicians in making their own personal decisions on whether, or how, to be involved in research, education or other collaborations with industry.