A group of doctors, medical ethicists, and others sent NIH director Francis Collins a letter yesterday urging the NIH "to fund studies on medical ethics, conflicts of interest in medicine and research, and prescribing behavior." The 96 authors add that moving research funded by NIH "into clinical practice is strongly affected by the complex web of relationships that exists among industry, academicians, medical educators and clinicians." The letter was organized by PharmedOut, an independent project run by Georgetown University's Adriane Fugh-Berman and she told ScienceInsider that many ethics research projects aren't funded by NIH. "I think that NIH has thought that it doesn't comes under their domain, and the trouble is that it doesn't come under anybody's domain," she says.
The Hastings Center's Thomas Murray, who did not sign the letter, says that Collins may consider the request. "The letter is actually quite gentle and modest in what it requests," he says to the Chronicle of Higher Education.