The Chronicle of Higher Education's Paul Basken reports NIH is proposing tougher conflict of interest rules for any researchers it backs. The new rule would mean that researchers getting financial backing from industry must disclose anything they receive above $5,000; the current reporting level is set at $10,000. The new rule would also require universities to give NIH details of plans to reduce their staff members' conflicts of interest, Basken says. "The public trust in what we do is just essential, and we cannot afford to take any chances with the integrity of the research process," said NIH director Francis Collins in a briefing. But, adds Basken, the plan still gives universities plenty of leeway to decide themselves whether a financial conflict of interest is relevant to government-funded research. Also, the plan doesn't contain any reference to penalties or mechanisms for enforcement, Basken says.
NIH Seeks to Rein in Conflict of Interest
May 21, 2010