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Universities, scientists urge NIH to narrow conflicts rule

August 24, 2010 - The biomedical research community is reacting with concern to a proposal from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to clamp down on financial conflicts of interest in research.

In a flood of comments, many groups and some individual scientists say NIH is asking investigators to report irrelevant information. Although they agree reform is needed, many urge NIH to narrow the proposal. They also think the government should create a central database for disclosing conflicts to the public.

In May, NIH proposed several changes to a 1995 Public Health Service (PHS) conflicts of interest regulation. They included lowering the threshold for reporting industry income (from $10,000 to $5000 annually) and requiring investigators to report to their institutions all financial interests related to their job. Institutional officials would then scan these reports for conflicts with an NIH-funded project and, when appropriate, disclose the conflicts publicly on their Web sites. NIH wants investigators to report not only industry payments, but also income from non-profit organizations (except universities).

Read the full article. [ScienceInsider]

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