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September 19, 1997



Three AMA execs fired in Sunbeam flap


AP Medical Writer

CHICAGO (AP) _ The American Medical Association fired three top executives Friday after an embarrassing flap over an agreement to endorse a line of Sunbeam Corp. home health products.

AMA trustees said after a daylong meeting on Thursday that they would discipline those responsible for the deal to endorse such products as humidifiers and blood pressure monitors because it was in violation of its ethical policy.

``There was a systemic breakdown of the AMA’s internal systems,″ said Dr. Thomas R. Reardon, chairman of the AMA board, in announcing the firings. ``The board is reaffirming its commitment to the AMA values of professionalism, advocacy for the highest ethics and preservation of the patient-physician relationship.″

Ousted were Kenneth E. Monroe, deputy executive vice president; James F. Rappel, group vice president for business and management services; and Larry Jellen, vice president for marketing.

The AMA-Sunbeam deal, announced Aug. 12, would have brought the AMA millions of dollars in royalties, but immediately triggered criticism from consumer advocates who accused the nation’s largest doctors’ group of auctioning its logo.

The AMA renounced the deal less than two weeks later and is trying cancel it. Sunbeam is suing to enforce the agreement or collect damages it says could top $20 million.

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