NIH Releases New Conflict-of-Interest Rules for Medical Research Funding

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The National Institutes of Health have released new rules for medical researchers seeking federal funding aimed at increasing transparency when it comes to relationships and conflicts of interests related to the drug and medical device industry, according to a report in The Washington Post.

The changes follow several high-profile incidents involving federally funded researchers who have received millions of dollars through relationships with pharmaceutical or medical device companies that have been revealed in the past year, according to the report.

The new rules reduce the minimum payment required for disclosure from $10,000 to $5,000, and universities, research institutes and other businesses that receive federal dollars will be required to follow the new limit, according to the report. Information about relationships and conflicts of interest must also be posted on a publicly accessible website.

NIH officials acknowledged such relationships were necessary in biomedical research and, in most cases, researchers were not influenced by their relationships with outside companies; however, the new rules were designed to increase public trust and to ensure that research met with ethical and scientific standards, according to the report.

The public will have 60 days to comment on the new rules, which are available in the Federal Register.

Read the Post report about the new NIH conflict-of-interest rules.

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