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NIH Pushes for Open Access to Tools, Materials



ASHINGTON--One of Harold Varmus’s last actions before he stepped down last month as director of the US National Institutes of Health was to put forth a new code to ensure open access to research tools, the journal Science reported. The new rules call for protection of academic freedom, acceptable use of patents, reduction of obstacles to academic research, and distribution of NIH-funded tools. The guidelines appear to pit the interests of biotech companies--which need to sell their products to get returns on their investments--against those of pharmaceutical businesses and biomedical researchers who are expected to benefit from the code because it guarantees their access to research tools and materials.

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