NIH Said to Drop Rule for Reporting Conflicts Online
by Jocelyn Kaiser  on 2 August 2011, 4:44 PM | 1


The U.S. government has dropped a plan to require universities to publicly
disclose online what drug companies pay their faculty members, according to
a report <>yesterday in

NIH's press office did not confirm the report on the status of the National
Institutes of Health (NIH's) long-delayed revised conflicts-of-interest
rules and would say only that "the current rule is under consideration by
the Office of Management and Budget." But if the report is correct, the
change would address
academic organizations that the requirement to post the data on a Web
site was too costly and would confuse the public.

Last summer the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) and the
Association of American Universities
NIH instead set up a central database for disclosing conflicts. The
groups said this would complement a federal database slated to go online in
2013 in which drug companies will be required to report payments to

*Nature* 's story says universities will now be given a choice about how to
disclose the information and don't have to create a web site. AAMC's Anthony
Mazzaschi says he's "not sure it's that big a change" because universities
would still have to make the information publicly available. But the news
upset Harvard Medical School's Eric Campbell, who studies conflicts of
interest in biomedicine. "There has to be a mechanism to verify what drug
companies say," and the best way would be with searchable public databases,
Campbell says <>.

Some major academic medical centers have voluntarily begun posting faculty
dislosures online<>.
But the format and details vary. For example, the Cleveland Clinic lists
industry relationships in its doctor
reports only company names, not dollar amounts.
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Michael Balter
Contributing Correspondent, Science
Adjunct Professor of Journalism,
New York University

Email:  [log in to unmask]

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