Call to Tighten Conflict of Interest Rules for Medical Research

April 29, 2009

Researchers and medical faculty members should decline all gifts from medical companies and should refuse to publish or present material that is ghostwritten for such companies, says a report from the Institute of Medicine. The recommendations -- which arrive at a time of heightened scrutiny of such conflicts -- also suggest broader reporting requirements of researchers' ties to companies, without barring all such ties. Researchers should disclose ties not only to their employers but to other medical organizations, the institute urges. Relying too much on researchers telling only employers results in inconsistent requirements, the institute says, while leaving key players in the dark about possible conflicts.

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