NIH finally takes on conflicts

After several months of intense scrutiny, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) is considering stricter rules on managing financial conflicts among its grantees. The research and funding body put out a call for comments on changing the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) conflict of interest rules via an linkurl:entry;http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/2009/pdf/E9-10666.pdf in the Federal Register on Friday (May 8). The rules under consideration would involve all applicants for funding f

By | May 11, 2009

After several months of intense scrutiny, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) is considering stricter rules on managing financial conflicts among its grantees. The research and funding body put out a call for comments on changing the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) conflict of interest rules via an linkurl:entry;http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/2009/pdf/E9-10666.pdf in the Federal Register on Friday (May 8). The rules under consideration would involve all applicants for funding from the Public Health Service (PHS), of which the NIH is a component. Other agencies under the PHS umbrella include the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Food and Drug Administration, and the Indian Health Service. The regulation changes the NIH is considering include expanding disclosure rules to applicants seeking PHS funding through the government's Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer Programs, and mandating that all funding applicants disclose all significant financial conflicts instead of disclosing only those $10,000 per year or greater. Potential changes also include requiring institutions with 50 or more employees to form independent conflict of interest committees, and requiring all grantee institutions to submit "conflict management plans." The current rules, which were published in 1995, place the onus of rooting out and reporting financial conflicts among researchers with those scientists' home institutions. The NIH states in the Federal Register that "we are considering whether to revise the current regulations to provide Institutions with a more comprehensive set of guidelines," to assure integrity in federally-funded science. The NIH seeks advice from the "general public, individual Investigators, scientific societies and associations, Members of Congress, other Federal agencies that support or conduct research, and institutions that receive PHS funds to conduct or support biomedical or behavioral research." Comments can be submitted up until July 7 electronically linkurl:(here);http://www.regulations.gov/fdmspublic/component/main?main=DocumentDetail&o=090000648098854b or sent to an NIH office in Rockville, Maryland.
**__Related stories:__***linkurl:NIH may start policing conflicts;http://www.the-scientist.com/blog/display/55400/
[5th February 2009]*linkurl:NIH to act on conflicts within 1 year;http://www.the-scientist.com/blog/display/55264/
[5th December 2008]*linkurl:Should conflicts mean no NIH grant?;http://www.the-scientist.com/blog/display/55058/
[29th September 2008]
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Comments

Avatar of: anonymous poster

anonymous poster

Posts: 2

May 11, 2009

I see no public outcry over the military-defense contractor and financial institution-Fed-Treasury revolving doors. These conflicts of interest are business as usual on a scale so grand the lowly government regulatory scientists could never even imagine??
Avatar of: Ellen Hunt

Ellen Hunt

Posts: 199

May 11, 2009

Since the problems that have been found by Grassley's committee (and others) are failures to follow current rules, how on earth is changing the rules going to fix anything? \n\nSeriously, what is WRONG with us scientists? Are we collectively insane? Have we lost our minds? We are supposed to be intelligent, sensible people - more so than "regular folks." Instead, we are acting like the most phenomenal idiots imaginable. \n\nPeople! To deal with lack of compliance, you must improve reporting of problems and enforcement. You must actually LOOK for problems. You must improve the climate for whistleblowers. You must generally improve the climate for reporting and investigating science fraud.
Avatar of: Ellen Hunt

Ellen Hunt

Posts: 199

May 11, 2009

The link takes me to a web site with a search window. There is no indication in the article of an identifier or title or anything else I can use to find the item to comment on. The "best match" that comes up is something from 2007. \n\nPlease make the link usable. Without it, your article becomes a 2 out of 5.

May 12, 2009

Thank you for reading, Ms. Hunt.\n\nThe link to the comment site originally included in the story was the same link given in the Federal Registry entry.\n\nTo make it even easier for you, I have changed the link to take you right to the page where you can leave comments on this particular issue.\n\nThanks again,\n\nBob Grant

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