Stanford University is starting a program to advocate against the financial influence of drug and medical device companies on physicians, a well-known practice that spins at least US$1 billion per year. The only problem (free registration required) is that the program is being partially financed by Pfizer. The heads of the program claim that Pfizer’s support was 100% voluntary and that there are no strings attached, but it’s easy to picture several situations where Pfizer would still pull the strings. How far can we push the boundaries on conflicts of interest? And if it appears conflicted, doesn’t it defeat the purpose from the get-go?