publication date: Jan. 18, 2019

New MSK rules prohibit service on boards of for-profit entities in healthcare

By Paul Goldberg

An internal task force formed to investigate conflicts of interest at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center has produced three initial recommendations that codify the moratoria that were put in place after multiple ethics transgressions at the cancer center were revealed by The New York Times and ProPublica last fall.

The new rules were announced Jan 11 in a memo from Debra Berns, senior vice president and chief risk officer at MSK.

In addition to codifying earlier prohibitions, the rules constitute the cancer center’s direct response to the revelations that started to appear last September, causing the resignation of Physician-in-Chief José Baselga and causing President and CEO Craig Thompson to resign from boards of two healthcare companies.

The rules also restrict the ability by MSK board members to invest in spin-off companies and serve on their boards. Also, senior executive officers at the cancer center are prohibited from serving on the boards of for-profit companies.

The memo states that additional recommendations are likely to be brought forth, but even as it stands, the MSK policies will likely influence other cancer centers, potentially making it more difficult—or unacceptable—for senior officials elsewhere to serve on boards of pharma companies and other for-profit entities involved in health care.

Here are MSK’s three new don’ts:

Senior Executive Officers at MSK will no longer be permitted to serve on the boards of directors of external for-profit health- or science-related entities. Any exception to this rule would require affirmative approval by the Executive Committee of the Board of Managers as well as a compelling institutional reason for making such an … Continue reading New MSK rules prohibit service on boards of for-profit entities in healthcare

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