With less than a year for investigators and institutions to prepare for the August 24, 2012 implementation of National Institutes of Health's new financial conflict of interest rules, Office of Extramural Research's Sally Rockey and her colleagues addressed "what NIH grantees need to know" about those revised regulations in a live Webcast this week. Rockey emphasized NIH OER's commitment to assisting investigators and institutions with the implementation of new financial conflict-of-interest policies throughout the discussion, and said that now is the time to begin preparing such policies.
NIH OER's Diane Dean reviewed the key definitions related the revised FCOI regulations, and said that the meaning of "significant financial interest" is the crux of the matter now, as it was in the 1995 regulation, though the thresholds for reporting such interests have changed.
Institutional responsibilities related to FCOI changed, too. Dean said federally funded institutions must develop management plans for every NIH-funded investigator who has reported financial conflicts, and are required to post certain FCOI information on a publicly accessible Web site or make it available to any requestor within five business days of the inquiry.
John Ellis at OER said that when it comes to implementation, "it's going to take a while to work through the details." Indeed, Rockey added that ultimately, dealing with financial conflicts of interest is a "very case-specific type of activity." She said she's hopeful that the research community will come together to address issues as they arise. At present, "we are collecting best practices, and situations and scenarios institutions are going through," Rockey said, adding: "If there's a particular case you want to work through with us, we'd be happy to help."
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