Public Comments Welcomed on Conflicts of Interest

May 12th, 2009

Posted by: admin

Last Friday the National Institutes of Health issued a request for comment in the Federal Register (H/T ScienceInsider).  They seek comments on whether or not the current policies on conflicts of interest need to be amended.  Comments are due July 7 and can be submitted online, by mail, fax, or in person.  Check the request for specific submission instructions.

The focus of these policies is on research involving human subjects or other research where the Public Health Service may be involved.  There are some specific questions they are seeking comments on, which I’ve summarized after the jump.  Consult the request for comment for additional details.

Expanding the Scope of the Regulation & Disclosure of Interests – Should institutions currently not covered by the regulations now be subject to them, and should all financial interests, direct and indirect, be disclosed?

Definition of Significant Financial Interest - Should the current exemptions and minimums for reporting financial interests be changed?  Are there certain financial interests that should be reported regardless of amount?

Identification and Management of Conflicts by Institutions – Currently institutions must appoint individuals to monitor potential conflicts, and determine steps to take in order to eliminate or reduce such conflicts.  The NIH is interested in several possible adjustments to these regulations.

Assuring Institutional Compliance – The NIH is interested in comments about additional enforcement options, as well as whether or not to require independent reviews or regular conflicts of interest training.

Requiring Institutions to Supply Additional Information to the PHS - Pretty straightforward.

Institutional Conflicts of Interest – Reflecting the move in the research community to address institutional conflicts of interest, here the NIH is seeking comment on whether regulations for these conflicts are required and what they might be.

Comments are due by July 7.

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