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NIH Seeks Comments on Conflict of Interest Rules

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – The National Institutes of Health is taking comments from the public on possible changes it may make to its conflict-of-interest regulations for federally funded research, NIH said on Tuesday.

The existing regulations for financial interest were implemented in 1995 and were designed to ensure that federally funded health research grants would not be biased by financial conflicts on the part of the researcher.

The NIH is seeking public comments on all aspects of these regulations, and is particularly interested in hearing opinions about expanding the scope of the regulation and disclosure of interests; the definition of “Significant Financial Interest”; identification and management of conflicts by institutions; institutional compliance; requirements about additional information; and broader regulations to address institutional conflicts of interest.

"Both the public and the private sectors are deeply involved in collaborative research efforts to meet public health needs," NIH’s Acting Director, Raynard Kington, said in a statement. "These collaborations are increasingly complex and it is important to consider if changes are needed to the regulation to ensure the integrity of the science.”

He said that the comments can help NIH understand what changes are needed and what strategies might be beneficial.

The comment period is open until July 7, 2009.

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