Two US Senators have introduced an amendment to the economic stimulus bill currently being debated in Congress that they say would better protect federally-funded biomedical research from potential bias. Senators Charles Grassley (R-IA) and Herb Kohl (D-WI) said in a linkurl:statement;http://grassley.senate.gov/news/Article.cfm?customel_dataPageID_1502=19157 that the amendment centers on how the National Institutes of Health polices financial conflicts among its researcher-grantees. The amendment states that the NIH is to "actively enforce its conflict of interest policies and respond in a timely manner when those policies have been violated by grantees." Additionally, grantees receiving more than $250,000 per year in NIH funds (R01 awards allow for up to $250,000 in direct costs per year) would have to disclose to the agency an estimate, to the nearest $1000, of the primary investigator's significant financial interests, and a detailed plan of how the grantee's home institution will manage the conflict. Current NIH rules address conflict of...
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