WASHINGTON—In a document that is being roundly condemned by science administrators, lobbyists, and other observers, the National Institutes of Health has proposed vol- untary guidelines on financial conflicts of interest by university researchers.
The criticism from experts in the field is expected to sharpen the explosive debate on how to preserve the integrity of federally funded research while at the same time translating that research into products that are designed to improve public health.
The guidelines appear in the September 15 issue of the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts (vol 18, no. 32). They apply to any research funded by NIH or the Alcohol, Drug Abuse, and Mental Health Administration (ADAMHA). Under the proposal, universities and other recipients of federal funds are advised to draw up policies to monitor potential conflicts of interest by faculty and other employees that could distort the conduct or results of such research.