April 20, 2024

More funding for ethics needed to study conflicts of interest

Letter to NIH head Francis Collins

The National Institutes of Health is being asked to fund a study of the ethics of conflicts of interest between medicine and science and industry. A strongly-worded letter the NIH head Francis Collins from more than 100 biomedical researchers, journal editors, and health care administrators claims that: “There is growing evidence that each strand of this web [of relationships] is compromised by ethical lapses and financial conflicts of interest.”.

The letter was coordinated by Dr Adriane Fugh-Berman, a Georgetown University researcher who specialises in studying to what degree scientific conclusions are tainted by commercial motives. She admitted to the magazine The Scientist that part of the motivation for the letter was her research group’s empty bank account. She is a director of PharmedOut, which educates physicians on how the pharmaceutical industry influences prescribing practices. ~ The Scientist, Nov 17

Michael Cook