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

Bob Grant
Bob Grant

Bob started with The Scientist as a staff writer in 2007. Before joining the team, he worked as a reporter at Audubon and earned a master’s degree in science journalism...

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May 10, 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...
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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