PALO ALTO (KCBS) – More than one dozen Stanford doctors were reportedly paid by drug companies in the past year to give promotional speeches – a violation of the university’s ban on such activity.

According to a published report, similar violations occurred at a half dozen other American medical schools.

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KCBS’ Matt Bigler Reports:

Just last year, Stanford became one of the first medical schools to institute a bans on doctors giving paid promotional talks for pharmaceutical companies.

“Not every faculty member either understands the policy and they have to reiterate that training or some of them are just outright in violation,” suggested Arthur Kaplan, PhD., chairman of the University of Pennsylvania’s Center for Bioethics.

According to the ProPublica investigation, two of the Stanford doctors earned six figures last year for their speaking engagements.

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Stanford University called the paid drug speeches unacceptable and other medical schools were said to have launched internal reviews.

Doctors, meanwhile, offered a variety of explanations for their participation, with some simply suggesting they gave the speeches if they believed the medical information from the company was accurate.

“At the end of the day,” countered Kaplan, “having somebody hand you a bunch of slides and say we’ll pay you if you give a talk about this drug using these slides that the manufacturer made, I just think it’s not going to pass muster.”

The report concluded that Stanford, like many other universities, relied on the honor system to make sure doctors were following policies regarding paid promotional speeches.

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